WVU Gameday Blog

Must-see Mountaineers?

The numbers say the Big 12 has the best and deepest basketball league. I have to think it’s the most entertaining, too. Every time one of the league’s game is on television, the chances are pretty good that it’s going to be pretty entertaining. That expectation is reinforced a couple times every week now.

Maybe that has to do with the concentration of games reserved for the league’s top-shelf teams, but maybe it has more to do with there being a bunch of good offensive teams, irresistible individual talents, clever coaches and effective home courts.

And for one reason or another, WVU is becoming one of those teams that makes for good television.

The Mountaineers can shoot it well and can give up a lot of offense. As many good things as they are capable of offensively, they have still yet to overcome the side-effects of somebad defensive habits they let become part of their everyday existence last season.

“The truth is they brother-in-lawed each other last year (in practice) – ‘I won’t go by you if you don’t go by me. I won’t score on you if you don’t score on me. That way he we can get out of here,'” Huggins said. “That’s the truth and that was a constant fight every single day. It’s not like that now.”

The net result? They can build leads and then engage in nail-biters. They can fall behind and get back in the game. They’re still young, and thus prone to bad moments, but they have a few players who can get hot and make up for a lot of misgivings.

In short, they don’t let you change that channel, do they?

“It may not be a good thing all the time, but we’re going to keep people on the edge of their seats,” point guard Juwan Staten said. “That’s not always a great thing, but nobody wants to make a mistake out there. Nobody wants to miss a shot or give up baskets, but we’re going to play through it.

“Sometimes you might see us do something and shake your head and say, ‘What are they thinking?’ But not too long after that, you’re going to see us do something good.”

I’m off to Kansas today, but I have a lengthy layover in Charlotte, during which I’ll post something about Keith Patterson and possible replacements and just what in the world you are to make of the situation at the Puskar Center. Meantime, yesterday’s Paul Zeise-less Scoop & Score.