By Tony Caridi for WVUsports.com
January 07, 2011 02:57 PM
Time to respond to some recent questions that have been directed my way. So without any further adieu (I like that word) let’s go … What’s the biggest challenge facing this year’s basketball team?
That’s a tough one because there are several challenges. Perhaps the most important challenge is the realization that this year’s team simply doesn’t have the talent level of last season’s squad. That’s not an NCAA tournament death sentence - it simply means the margin of error for this team is razor thin. This team MUST play together, and intelligently, to reach its peak level of efficiency. What’s the latest on DaSean Butler and Joe Alexander?
Da’Sean is doing really well. I spent time with him during the bowl game in Orlando. He’ll be fitted for a knee brace later this month and was truly excited about the prospect of starting to run at full speed. His rehabilitation sessions have grown from about an hour to several hours a day. It’s unlikely that he’ll play this season but seems to be gearing up for making an NBA team next season. He’s happy and excited. He’s DaSean.
Joe is doing great with the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League. He’s averaging a team-best 19 points and 11 rebounds. It looks like he’s found his comfort zone and should be getting another chance with an NBA team. It’s never been a lack of desire or ability for Joe - he just needed the game experience and how he’s getting it. It’s the last second of a game and the Mountaineers need a shot to win. Who do you have shooting the ball?
It’s easy. Casey Mitchell is the guy. I’m not saying that just because he hit the shot against Vanderbilt. I think he’s the guy that has the best chance to make a tough shot, best chance to get fouled, and best chance to make the free throws. I attend most home games and notice you and Jay often talk with the officials before games. Who is your dream crew to work a Mountaineer game?
First off, I have great respect for the officials - it’s an extremely difficult job and they try their absolute best. However, in no particular order, I would take Mike Kitts, Pat Driscoll, and Ed Corbett. Do you think Villanova will join the Big East Football Conference? If not them then who?
I’m not sure where Villanova is heading with its decision. However, I don’t think they should make the commitment. Unlike Connecticut, Villanova does not have the financial resources or facility availability to truly become a consistent championship contender.
I’m a fan of Central Florida. I think they provide the necessary elements for membership athletically, institutionally, and geographically. How long will it take for new coach Dana Holgorsen’s new offense to roll up points?
Rolling up? Well, with history being our barometer, it would appear that the WVU offense will begin increasing its point total immediately. I base that on the numbers coach Holgorson produced in his stops at Houston and Oklahoma State. However, please don’t shroud the fact that any good offense needs good players. Houston had one of the nation’ best quarterbacks in Case Keenum. Oklahoma State had one of the nation’s best receivers in Justin Blackmon. I think Geno Smith and Tavon Austin will develop into two of the nation’s best players, and as a result, the offense will roll up points quickly.
That’s all for now. Catch us on the air Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. when West Virginia takes on Georgetown at the Verizon Center.
Follow Tony Caridi on Twitter: @Tony Caridi