We Play A Mean Game Of Roundball

Stiles, our resident basketball expert, will check in periodically with his thoughts on the season. Luckily for you, this is one of those times. 

I can’t take it anymore. Somebody wake me up when the new coach is hired. I’m too preoccupied with this upcoming test for the basketball team against Oklahoma.

With Charley and 5th Year playing the role of Woodward and Bernstein, let’s take a look at the upcoming showdown…

Since the narrow loss to Tennessee, the Mountaineer basketball team has been a juggernaut. This has included blowing out teams left and right, featuring decent Auburn and Duquesne teams. With these blowouts, three positive trends have emerged during the stretch. They are (in no particular order):

Darris Nichols: If you can recall the preseason preview, I was very high on Nichols. Love his game. Well, the started the season out slow for the senior. While watching it unfold, I came to realize he was suffering from “Beilein Syndrome”. What’s “Beilein Syndrome?” It’s something I just made up! It was born of the idea that Huggins had given the players the green light on offense. However, after playing three years under Beilein, Nichols tried to stay in the offense too much. Now, he’s seeing the light. Nichols can practically take anybody off the dribble and once he starts doing this more, the offense will only open up.

John Flowers: Interesting player. Interesting game. One thing I love: his aggression on the offensive end. Sure he’ll be up and down, but when he’s on, he can fill it up. No matter what, he’s gives WVU another solid guy off the bench.

Joe Alexander: Wow. Saying he’s found himself early on would be an understatement. He’s aggressive, yet he’s not forcing things like he would sometimes last year. He’s the key to the season. Last year, Alexander started off strong, but when they hit Big East play; he struggled big time. Let’s hope the big start will continue.

These three items have me pumped for big things. Come Saturday, we’ll have a better idea where the team stands. The Sooners are no slouch, as evidenced by their wins over Arkansas and Gonzaga. They’ve also given decent games to Memphis and USC.

The Sooners are a team that has a strong frontline, which makes this upcoming game even more interesting. In other words, I’ll be interested to see how WVU plays against a physical team.

One thing is for sure: the game will sure beat reading about being left at the altar by Jimbo Fisher. Or leaving Doc Holliday at the altar. (Ed. — not really)

5 Responses

  1. A packed and rocking CCC should give this team a boost. I just hope we shoot better under Huggins than we did under Belyin.

    We need to show this forgotten team that we do care about the basketball team and their efforts are not totally being overlooked.

  2. Great reminder to look away from the who-gonna-be-da-coach saga because there’s a lot more to the story.

  3. Alexander’s game depends on hitting 60% of his 15 foot jump jump shots. WIth better D in Big East play, that is unlikely to continue. While he has dramatically improved, he still has no post moves that bring him towards the basket. Everything is a fade away, pull up, or turnaround. Joe is still unable to take someone off the dribble due to his slow first step and average ball handling skills. He has terrible foot work in traffic and is not good at mid-air shot adjustments close to the basket. Worst of all, he is a fragile headcase.

    He’s improved alot already, and I would be surprised if he didn’t continue to have a great season.

  4. Flowers has been a pleasant surprise. This team will face a big test against Oklahoma on Saturday. I like the way we’re playing though.

  5. When we hit big east play, I think we will have trouble with athletic big men, or just huge big guys, anyone who can consistently score down low is going to give us trouble.

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