Mazzulla and Bryant play Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside and combine for 40 points with a list of layups and 3-pointers. The defense has to guard against the drive and the jumper. Notre Dame plays it honest. It cannot scheme or shade toward one for fear the other gets opportunities.
And if not them, then someone else.
Wouldn’t you know it? The Mountaineers figure it out and go 13-for-16 to start the second half and finish 14-for-26. Along the way that day, Kevin Jones makes two 3s, scores on two offensive rebounds and finishes with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Probably not a coincidence.
Mazzulla’s constant assertion and Bryant’s accuracy made things easier on Jones when things hadn’t been coming so easily for him.
“I don’t know why, but I guess sometimes when somebody is scoring or taking a lot of shots, you’re looking at them instead of being aggressive yourself,” Jones said. “For the most part (Saturday) everyone was aggressive and I think that’s why we weren’t going into scoring droughts.”
As tough as it had been for WVU to get Mazzulla and Bryant scoring at once, it’s been more unusual to have Jones producing with them. Saturday marked just the third time they’ve all scored in double figures – and the first time since the 68-64 win against Purdue. WVU is 3-0 when its starting guards and best all-around player are in double figures.
“It’s not necessarily hard for us,” Mazzulla said. “We just didn’t force anything. Everything played into itself. I don’t think we took too many ill-advised shots (Saturday). The shots the three of took were good shots. If you take good shots, the percentages of making them go up.”