TAMPA, Fla. -- The Villanova career of guard
"I couldn't even speak," Reynolds said Sunday as he sat at his locker after scoring 25 points to lead 12th-seeded 'Nova to the Sweet 16 with an 84-72 win against Siena. "I didn't even speak to him. I had the phone, and he was talking. But I just couldn't."
Sampson gave Reynolds a chance to collect his thoughts before calling back. After a discussion, Reynolds understood why Sampson left Norman for Bloomington. "He made ... a family-oriented decision," Reynolds said. "That's what you have to do. You have to put your family first."
That philosophy also explains why Reynolds chose Villanova. In the abbreviated recruiting crush that followed Reynolds' release from his Oklahoma letter-of-intent -- his mom,
So Reynolds chose 'Nova, less than three hours' drive from his suburban D.C. home in Herndon, Va. Rick and Pam, who adopted Scottie when he was two days old, rarely miss a game. Now, their son's career will take them to another exotic locale. As he and the rest of the Wildcats' parents celebrated the win in the stands Sunday, Rick Reynolds yelled at the top of his lungs: "Detroit!"
Exactly a week before 'Nova whipped Siena, the Wildcats -- losers of five consecutive games at one point in Big East play -- sat in Philly, watching conference tourney title games and wondering whether they'd play in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. They'd needed a win against Georgetown in the quarterfinals of the Big East tourney to cement an at-large bid. But the Hoyas cruised to a win after Reynolds, with blood gushing from a cut above his right eye, sat for more than five second-half minutes. Still, the selection committee took mercy on the Wildcats. Give a committee member a truth serum, and he'll probably tell you 'Nova was the 65th team penciled into the bracket.
Even after the committee spared 'Nova the ignominy of the NIT, Wildcats coach
"I joked because I didn't think it was going to happen," Wright said. "Now I've put my foot in my mouth, because I've got to go home with the team."
Wright will miss watching the Phillies'
Reynolds kept scoring, and so did freshman
For that, they should thank Kelvin Sampson. Had he not left Oklahoma for Indiana, Wright never would have received the phone call from Herndon High coach
"I go, 'Is that Chris Wright?' I loved him," Wright said. "[An assistant] goes, 'No. That's Scottie Reynolds.' I said, 'Why aren't we recruiting that kid. That kid's unbelieveable."
Reynolds had already committed to Oklahoma, so Wright never gave Reynolds another thought until he got Hall's call. Given a second chance, Wright said he was interested, but he didn't have a scholarship. Not long after, guard
"We were handed on a platter a McDonald's All-American," Wright said. "So anything that happens to us negatively in recruiting, we can never complain."