Stiles, our resident basketball expert, will check in periodically with his thoughts on the season. Lucky you, this is one of those times.
Yeah, so, it might be time to revisit my preseason prediction (insert link) for the basketball team. Why? Because the last two games have shown me that WVU is for real this year.
As you could see I thought this team could be pretty good, but I didn’t think they could be this good. I don’t even know where to start, but let’s go…
First, the emergence of Wellington Smith and John Flowers gives the team not only improved depth, they provide scoring, energy and defense. Seriously, I think the only basketball player with longer arms than Smith is Kevin McHale. He’s been a presence both underneath and on the glass. Plus, he can score the basketball. Meanwhile, Flowers plays on the offensive end like a fourth year senior.
Which leads us to the new look offense. Early on, the team was not aggressive and depended too much on the three point shot. It was expected as they were looking for their offensive identity. Well, they’ve found it. And I love it. They still play unselfish basketball and move well without the ball, but Huggins has also allowed the players to take advantage of their offensive skill and go one on one so to speak. The players seem to love it, as they all seem to be enjoying playing as a unit.
While the new look offense has been fun, it is the rebounding and defense that has me most excited. After struggling through the Beilein years of seeing the team be allergic to rebounds, this team is the total opposite. They crash both the offensive and defensive boards. Not to mention, they’ve been very effective despite a lack of physical presence.
When you add it all up, this year’s addition has a chance to be one of my favorite editions ever. They’re a joy to watch. And come March, who knows, they might be able to make some real noise.