3:15: Story with quotes for your approval.
Paging Ryan McLean. WVU faces Georgetown, its three guards and the Princeton offense here at the Verizon Center … where a lot of WVU fans have gathered.
These Hoyas are an interesting bunch because while they can play slow and be very effective, there exists an idea they can play faster and be better. This can cause great discussion and debate.
The Mountaineers? The numbers aren’t as affectionate.
Keep an eye on the 3-point line today. WVU relies a lot on it for offense and its defense does a very good job protecting it. Georgetown has been pretty good scoring from there, but also in using that to create space and absolutely kill it from 2-point range (58.4 percent).
Commence with the commentary!
11:09: Fine start for WVU. Recovers from the standard turnover on the opening possession and 5-0 deficit as Mitchell makes a 3, Kilicli hits a hook after grabbing an offensice rebound and Mitchell diagnoses a zone press and drives for a basket. It’s 7-7 at the first TV timeout. And there’s a lot of gold in here.
11:12: Dan Jennings sighting. He played five minutes the previous four games … including none at all against DePaul.
11:14: … and lasted slightly longer today.
11:15: … and he may play more. Kilicli, who was playing well, picked up his second foul with 13:12 to go when he let Henry Sims slip inside. Huggins points at Thoroughman as Kilicli takes a seat.
11:16: Zone press giving WVU fits. Throwaways on back-to-back possessions lead to two easy scores. The second, a dunk, sends WVU into a timeout. It’s 13-12 as the Hoyas lead.
11:27: John Flowers is having a rough day. So, too, is WVU. It’s missed seven straight shots and eight of nine.
11:30 am: The view from my seat today. That is indeed a Sesame Street hat.
11:34: And WVU makes 4 of 5 shots and ties the score at 21 as the Hoyas retreat into a timeout with 4:44 to go. Mountaineers guarding their basket pretty well as Georgetown gets inside again and again.
11:42: Terrible call against Austin Freeman, who is, in fact, playing today. Countered by a questionable call against Thoroughman.
11:44: Jennings! Makes a free throw, misses a free throw, but wrestles the rebound away and passes to Mitchell for a layup.
11:48: Pretty good half for WVU. Ahead 29-25. Georgetown took just 19 shots in the first half and committed nine turnovers.
And how about late execution? WVU took possession with 16 seconds remaining in the half and what looked like very little urgency. Truck crossed half-court and Jones suddenly sprinted to set a screen. Truck moved, the defenders followed and the ball went to Jones, who then found Flowers open for an uncontested 3. Whatever works.
12:03 pm: Texts from Dunlap: (11:08) I am taking an “expectant father” tour of hospital; (11:29): Put that on your game blog..I am walking around Magee Women’s Hospital right now. Scared. To. Death. I am fully advocating contraception at this point.
12:09: I’d love to see/do an analysis of WVU’s +/- in the opening four minutes of the halves.
12:13: Bench is giddy Mitchell got an (offensive) rebound.
12:16: I don’t have a season-long perspective because I’ve missed games for football … but is the best defense the team has played?
12:20: Jim Laise, of WVSports.com, just informed me the fellow with the fuzzy neon green Sesame Street hat has a baseball cap … on his knee. Apparently it’s not enough of an obstruction. Freeman gets on the board with 14:50 to go. Circle it.
12:27: JT3′s timeout is unanimously panned on press row. Ditto Dan Jennings switching screens and Casey Mitchell catching 30-foot, crosscourt passes with one hand.
12:33: No idea why Kilicli fouled Wright. He has four now and Mazzulla was back on defense. The way the Hoyas are going, they’re just as likely to throw the ball away as they are to score on that possession.
12:34: … see?
12:37: This is fun. Freeman woke up. Just had to see the ball go in the basket. He hasn’t missed since.
12:38: Right on cue, Freeman brick. Heat check. You can forgive that. Mitchell has 15 points in this half — three three-point plays, two 3-pointers, a layup off a steal and a free throw very early. To win this game, WVU needs something offensively from Truck. If he and Mazzulla are to play together, and Mazzulla is the accepted non-offensive threat, you can’t afford to have two guards not scoring. Not when Mitchell is this hot and drawing defenders whenever the ball goes his way.
12:40: That was a beautiful play out of the timeout. A little designed deception and Jones was open, as planned, for a 3.
12:47: Jones was wide open on the left side, though with 28 seconds on the shot clock, 4:00 left in the game and a four-point lead. He paused and passed. That was absent against DePaul.
12:50: Mazzulla tried to take two charges in about three feet and four seconds.
12:52: And KJ’s fadeaway is peeled off the side of the milk carton. Big, big play. WVU plodding along nicely.
12:53: Terrible defensive possession. This is WVU’s danger zone. Close game late. Buckle up.
12:55: Truck continues to fascinate me. I’ve never seen something quite like that before. And Huggins is subbing offense-defense with Mitchell and Flowers and Flowers has four fouls. This is very fun.
12:57: John Cahill is having fun. Channels his inner Timmy Higgins to award WVU possession. He played to the crowd! Showmanship!
12:58: Meltdown on Georgetown’s last three possessions. Loooooots of time left … though Georgetown offers an assist by calling its last timeout with 20.8 seconds to go.
1:02: Great game … and there are 14 more of these? Final: 65-59 and seldom will you see a player do almost nothing statistically and have the impact Cam Thoroughman did late.