TBT Spotlight: SuperNova

 

By: Patrick Ronan, Contributing Writer | @pk_ronan


This week the TBT Spotlight shines on a team that is both well known and still a total mystery. Is this the year that Villanova alumni squad SuperNova breaks out and makes a deep run? Let’s take a closer look.

SuperNova makes its third TBT appearance this summer and will look to overcome what’s proven to be the team’s biggest obstacle in their prior two appearances – getting more than five guys to show up.

In 2014, SuperNova played under the name “Team ROBY” and although they had nine players on the roster, they played with just five.  Their nonexistent bench didn’t seem to bother them in the first round – winning by almost 40. Antonio Pena poured in 51 points, 2010 consensus All-American Scottie Reynolds added 33 and all five players scored in double figures.

But things caught up to them in the second round and ironically, it was what ROBY didn’t have that ended up being the difference. Behind a combined 55 points from their three bench players, PeacePlayers International knocked off Team ROBY 98-82.

In 2016, they returned as SuperNova and drew a Bucknell alumni team in the first round. Again they took the floor with just five players, but it didn’t seem to matter early on as they built a comfortable double-digit lead.  Then Scottie Reynolds went down early in the second half with a shoulder injury and SuperNova was forced to play the majority of the second half with just four players.

Their lead slowly disappeared and eventually turned into a deficit. When the final buzzer sounded, SuperNova’s 2016 TBT run was over.

Fast-forward to 2017 and former Villanova scout team player Justin Green takes over the reigns a GM. They’ve already reached eligibility and currently sit in 14th place in the Northeast voting.

“2016 was a year we never want to repeat,” Green said. “For our reputation and for our school’s reputation.”

One strategy Green is using to try to eliminate the worry of a small player turn-out is waiting to add their final two players until he has a better idea of who will be available.

“We’re basically deciding between two spots for six potential players,” Green said. “It’s all about schedules and how it’s going to fit.”

Their current roster is made up of seven former Wildcats, six of which played together at Villanova in 2008 and five that also played together on their 2009 Final Four team.

“You see other teams out there that are a combination of guys that came from the same area or division, but never played with each other,” Green said. “That’s great and all, but the fact of the matter is we wanted to keep it to guys that have played with each other at some point in their career.”

Despite a team familiarity that might be the strongest in the field, Green thinks it’s the team’s versatility that really sets them apart.

“We’ve got guys that can do a little bit of everything. We’re not going to rely on one player to do everything.”

On paper, SuperNova has a roster that could definitely find themselves playing in Baltimore for the final weekend. But that all important question burns on… How many guys will show up? Green says he’s “90 percent” confident that the seven guys currently on the roster will be available come game time. Add in the two players to be named and it looks like SuperNova shouldn’t have a problem getting guys a breather this year.

While Green won’t know for sure what his roster will look like until closer to June 1, one thing he knows for sure is the guys he will have are coming to play.

“We’re coming back – bringing the passion, the camaraderie, the family aspect that Villanova always showcases. We expect to win.”