Wayns, Villanova come in with so much to prove

Some players don’t want the ball with the game on the line. Maalik Wayns is not one of those players.

No, he wants the ball every time.

Villanova’s sophomore point guard took the last shot, a three-pointer, in what wound up being a frustrating 70-69 loss to South Florida in the first round of the Big East tournament. The shot clanged off the back rim.

“You know, if I get that chance again in the NCAA tournament, I’ll take it again. I’m not afraid of the moment,” Wayns said. “As long as the shot comes within the team concept, I’ll take it.”

Wayns missed the front end of a 1-and-1 in the final minute and also committed a costly turnover with 22 seconds left, partially causing the Wildcats to lose their fifth straight. Villanova was downgraded to a No. 9 seed as a result.

“I’m so anxious to get back on the court for a game,” Wayns said. “We have so much to prove. We started 16-1 and fought through some injuries and some adversity. I haven’t been dwelling at all on the South Florida game.”

Wayns can score, as evidenced by a 27-point outburst at Pittsburgh back on March 5. He can also overcome a tough night.

“I’m long over it,” Wayns said. “I’m a very confident player. I thought that shot was good when it left my hand. I want the ball. I can’t wait for the George Mason game. We, as a team, have so much to prove. As long as we win, I’m happy.”

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