Jay Wright Praises Former Villanova Stars for Knicks' Playoff Success

Former Villanova coach Jay Wright praises his ex-players Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo for leading the New York Knicks to the NBA playoffs' second round. Wright attributes their success to the work ethic and attitude they developed during their NCAA championship days at Villanova.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Jay Wright Praises Former Villanova Stars for Knicks' Playoff Success

Jay Wright Praises Former Villanova Stars for Knicks' Playoff Success

Former Villanova coach Jay Wright has expressed immense pride in his former players, Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo, who have led the New York Knicks to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Wright, who retired from coaching in 2022 and now works as a TV analyst for CBS, attributes their success to thework ethicand attitude they developed during their NCAA championship days at Villanova.

In a recent interview on "The Anthony Gargano Show," Wright shared his thoughts on his former players' impact on the Knicks' playoff run. "It's kind of cool to watch them and see that they've chosen to take a lot of what they learned [at Villanova] with them. Really cool," Wright said. He emphasized the importance of effort and attitude, stating, "You can't control if you're going to run into people that are more talented than you, you can't control if you run into people that are bigger or stronger than you, you can't control if you run into a team that is just faster or more athletic than you. But you can control your effort every night, every play, and you can control your attitude and how you approach every play and every game and every day."

Brunson, who finished fifth in the league-wide MVP voting, has been instrumental in the Knicks' success this season. Wright praised Brunson's decision to leave the Dallas Mavericks and become the go-to guy for the Knicks, saying it showed his desire to lead and carry a team. Hart and DiVincenzo have also stepped up offensively, showcasing their continued improvement and hunger to get better.

Wright intentionally kept a low profile during the Knicks' series against the Philadelphia 76ers, given his connections to players on both teams. The series was marked by injuries, including OG Anunoby's hamstring injury in Game 2, but the Knicks managed to defeat the 76ers in six games.

During his time at Villanova, Wright led the team to two NCAA championships in 2016 and 2018. He shared a recruitment story about Josh Hart, who was initially overlooked in favor of Stanley Robinson but ultimately became a key player for Villanova. "What was interesting about both of them, and this was something we always tried to teach our guys, was you've got to be humble and hungry and you've got to continue to keep getting better, keep improving, as long as you're playing basketball,"Wright said.

As the Knicks continue their playoff journey, the impact of Brunson, Hart, and DiVincenzo cannot be overstated. Theirwork ethic, attitude, and desire to improve, instilled during their time at Villanova under Coach Wright, have been key factors in the team's success. The Knicks now look to carry this momentum into the next round of the playoffs.