DETROIT (AP) -Scottie Reynolds ignited the kind of party at Villanova he would have watched from his dorm room as a freshman.
It's the kind of frenzied fun the dynamo guard still might view from afar as a junior.
The Wildcats are just thrilled he decided to stick around to give the school a reason to go wild.
Just don't expect Reynolds to act like the latest tournament star after hitting a last-second basket in the regional final to send Villanova (30-7) to its first Final Four in 24 years.
``If anybody didn't see the game, I don't think they would know,'' forward Dante Cunningham said on Thursday. ``He's still so well-grounded with everything.''
Gone are the days when Reynolds felt detached on his lonely walks around Villanova's campus. When his commitment to Oklahoma collapsed shortly before his freshman season, he became a last-minute addition to coach Jay Wright's program and quickly felt out of his element.
and its fans love him back. Even 572 miles away, Reynolds felt a crush of appreciation during a shopping trip Wednesday in Detroit.
``I was at the cash register signing autographs, and it was unbelievable that the Villanova community had so much support behind us,'' Reynolds said.
Now, the Sooners must wonder if they might be in Detroit with Reynolds, a 6-foot-2 point guard, if Kelvin Sampson had stuck around.
Reynolds became tight with Sampson on the recruiting trail and signed a letter of intent for Oklahoma out of Herndon, Va. When Sampson abruptly left for Indiana, Reynolds was stunned and betrayed.
``I had everything set, and it took a turn,'' Reynolds said. ``There were so many people around me, but after that happened it was just my family, my friends. The ones who stayed true to me. That's why I didn't go far the second time. I wanted to stay close to home.''
He found his home with the Wildcats, though it took some time to adjust.
After Sooners coach Jeff Capel granted Reynolds a release, Wright called Sampson for a scouting report. The former OU coach told him not to bother with any questions.
``His high school coach told me when I was recruiting Scottie that he's the kind of kid that could make a play to get you to the Final Four,'' said Sampson, an assistant for the Milwaukee Bucks.
against Connecticut and was named Big East rookie of the year. Still, he flirted with the idea of declaring for the NBA draft after his freshman season.
``He was thinking, 'This is tough for me here, I'm struggling on and off the court, and I know I have to stay and stick this out,''' Wright said. ``He'd get emotional sometimes.''
Wright transformed Villanova back into a Big East contender by loading his roster with recruits from the New York/New Jersey/Washington area. Reynolds felt like an outsider, from the classroom to the locker room.
``He was struggling on campus,'' Wright said. ``He wants to excel at everything he does. Academically here, unless you're valedictorian of your class, you're not going to excel here. Academically he was struggling - he was fine eligibility-wise - but he wasn't excelling. He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, he doesn't do anything. This is a very social campus. That's not him.''
It took Reynolds halfway through his sophomore year to really feel like he wanted to stay at the suburban Philadelphia school.
Reynolds' decision to stay has been a boon for Wright and the Wildcats. He led them in scoring last season, is 18th on Villanova's career scoring list and playing in his third straight NCAA tournament.
olds is only shooting 35 percent (15-for-42) from the floor with 50 points in four NCAA tournament games. But when the Wildcats needed someone to take the shot to save their season, Wright said there was no other player he wanted with the ball in his hands.
``There's no doubt that guy's going to make a play, an aggressive play, at the end of the game,'' Wright said.
Asked if he ever made a basket so important at any level, Reynolds simply shrugged and said, ``I've had a lot of misses.''
Not this time.
``That shot's going to be remembered around here for a long time,'' Wright said.
Wright hasn't forgotten how lucky he was to land Reynolds.
When Villanova played at Marquette this year, they practiced at the Bucks' practice facility. Wright left on Sampson's desk a handwritten note with an appreciative addendum.
``He put, 'P.S. By the way, thanks for Scottie,''' Sampson said.
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AP Sports Writer Chris Jenkins in Milwaukee contributed to this story.

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