Monday, February 08, 2010

W. Virginia Blog The Smoking Musket, on #2 Villanova @ #6 WVU tonight...

To the Wildcat faithful-

I'd like to thank 5th Year Senior, of the West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket, for his very candid and detailed answers, during our question exchange, in advance of tonight's West Virginia / Villanova battle at 7 PM: ...  Here's our cyber-interview:

Smoking Musket: Good luck this evening and I hope our fans behave themselves.
VV: 1) Villanova took its worst loss last season in Morgantown, losing by 21.  We gave up 43 points to Da'Sean Butler, a career-high.  What will Bob Huggins do to maximize output from Butler once more?

The Smoking Musket: In Huggins' flex offense it is easy to get the ball in Butler’s hands in the normal course of the offense. I really don’t think Huggins will do anything special to get Butler extra touches. One thing he could do would be to have Butler run off more screens than usual to give him more room from outside. This is actually a likely scenario, the more I think about it, because of the quickness of many of your players.

Butler has an uncanny ability to find shots, no matter what the opposing defense is doing. They may not always be good shots but Butler will always find his shots.  Personally, I think Devin Ebanks and Truck Bryant are a lot more important in this game than Da. 

Can Truck handle Scottie Reynolds offensively and defensively? Doubt it. You are likely to see a lot of 1-3-1 and point drop, which means Joe Mazzulla will see a lot of minutes.

VV: 2) What is the biggest difference between this year's Mountaineer squad, and last year's?

The Smoking Musket: Maturity.  I have no clue who said it but the saying, “The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores” is true for this team. 

Last year WVU relied on three freshmen to contribute major minutes, in the toughest conference in college basketball history.  Sometimes they had huge games and sometimes they struggled tremendously, for games at a time.

This year, on the other hand, their struggles don’t last for more than a half.  However, against Villanova, if they struggle for too long, 'Nova could be 20 points ahead and show no signs of letting up.

VV: 3) What has been the biggest surprise of the season for West Virginia?

The Smoking Musket: The biggest surprise to me has been the offensive contribution of Wellington Smith.  He has been shooting a lights-out 45% from three-point land.  He has also managed to stay out of foul trouble recently, which is even more surprising than his outside shooting.  When he shoots well, he adds a whole new dimension to our offense because he plays the five, which pulls the opponent's big man out to let Jones and others clean up the glass.

Another surprise is Deniz “The Istan-Bull” Kilicli.  He saw his first action against Pitt, after a twenty game suspension, and contributed immediately offensively. He has great hands and a soft touch around the basket but is not your typically weak finesse type foreign player. He does not mind contact around the rim and is powerful enough to move guys out of the way.

His defense and rebounding, however, leaves a lot to be desired.  Coach Huggins will not give him significant minutes if he continues to lack aggressiveness on the glass and on defense.

My thanks to 5th Year Senior...

Full recap after the game...

Go Wildcats!



Anonymous said...

What a great exchange!

Well, 1-1 on the road against two Top 10 teams is nothing to sneeze at. Very pleased with how Wildcats responded to the G'town debacle. Lot of lead in those pencils.

Great contributions from Scotty, Fisher, Pena, Armwood and Redding. I love watching Sutton play (actually, I like watching him on the bench too, he gets so excited). He'll learn he's not a guard! We also survived what looked like some foolish fouls from Taylor King.

Don't recall seeing much of Maalik and not sure why Yarou didn't put in an appearance.

I thought the layup Stokes delivered with about 1.15 to go was about the prettiest two points I've ever seen scored in a basketball game. Incredible body control and then just an exquisite, almost beautiful, spin of his hand to get the points from a difficult position.

Nice win. Very tough environment and our kids didn't look the least intimidated.


Villanova Viewpoint Publisher said...

Hello, Seamus-

Thanks for the comment. It's good to hear that you enjoyed the question exchange with The Smoking Musket... I learned a great deal about West Virginia...

I had noticed that Wayns didn't see much action, and that Mouph didn't get in, at all.. They both logged 16 minutes on Saturday against Georgetown...

I was impressed with Sutton - that we were able to survive with him handling the ball, a little bit, too...

Go Wildcats!

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