Posted by Tony Caridi on Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Here are some random, meandering thoughts on a cold February day:
Bob Huggins thinks the wave of the future may be in using smaller lineups similar to Villanova’s four guards. The Mountaineer coach said it seems to him that officiating benefits smaller players who penetrate over the bigger post-up players. Huggs’ point is underscored by the fact that Villanova has made more free throws this season than opposing teams have attempted.
Huggins said he plans on signing two more players to the current recruiting class. That would bring the total number of recruits to four.
I’m amazed at how well Deniz Kilicli speaks English. He didn’t speak a word of English four years ago and on Monday night spent 40 minutes with us on the Bob Huggins show detailing his journey to the United States. In case you missed it, Deniz’s dad encouraged his son to follow his dream of playing college basketball after his father’s dream of becoming a journalist was discouraged by his grandfather.
Friday’s outcome in Pittsburgh could have a major impact on who receives a double bye in the Big East tournament. WVU can effectively take a two-game lead over Pitt and Louisville with a win at the Peterson Events Center. The Mountaineers are currently in third place with Georgetown in fourth. The top four schools receive the double bye.
Casey Mitchell’s 12-point effort against Villanova was the first time he scored more than 3 points in a game since the conference opener on Dec. 26 against Seton Hall. Mitchell has been practicing of late and could provide a much needed offensive spark in the final stretch of the season.
Is Da'Sean Butler getting the credit he deserves as one of WVU’s all-time great players? He’ll finish his career behind only Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley in scoring. Da’Sean is a reminder to all of us that not every great player arrives on campus with five-stars and a blue-chip tag next to his name.
Now, a few football notes for you …
The 2010 WVU football schedule shows the Mountaineers have just one road trip outside of West Virginia in the first eight weeks of the season. WVU will play at LSU on Sept. 25 and won’t leave the state again until Oct. 29 at Connecticut.
The football savant, Jed Drenning, informs me that for the second straight year the Mountaineers will play Cincinnati on Nov. 13. While the date is the same, let’s hope they use a different replay official.
At first glance the schedule looks balanced. The Mountaineers only play two straight road games once and have a nice balance at home with two games in September, three in October, and one in November and December. Nine of the 12 games will be played on Saturday with one Thursday at home (USF) and two Friday’s on the road (UConn and Pitt).
Finally Bill Stewart has awarded scholarships to two in-state walk-ons involved with the kicking game. Center Cody Nutter of Parkersburg and kicker Corey Smith of Musselman will be on scholarship next season. Nutter is the Mountaineers’ long-snapper while Smith, an Alabama transfer, will contend for the kickoff and field goal kicking duties.
People often ask me how winters were growing up near Buffalo, N.Y. You don’t have to wonder anymore, this is what winters are like in Buffalo.
The snow is either falling or coming.