The stage is set for West Virginia’s first game in its final Big East tournament. The Mountaineers will face UCONN on Wednesday.
Before we get to that, let’s talk the travesty that is the Kevin Jones snub for Big East Player of the Year. After we learned that Kevin Jones wasn’t a unanimous pick for the All Big East team, I had a bad feeling that Big East Player of the Year was probably not going to happen. Turns out, I was right. Jae Crowder from Marquette accepted the award earlier this afternoon. How? Why? I really can’t understand the reasoning behind this decision. I have heard many reasons, but none hold water in my opinion. Sure the team, as a whole, didn’t have a stand out season, but the fact is, without Kevin Jones, it would have been much worse. Jones led the conference in PPG and RPG. How can that be ignored? I feel bad for KJ. I am sure that he is disappointed. I am angered and frustrated as a fan, so I can’t imagine how he feels.
Now, let’s get back to the business at hand. The Mountaineers last faced the Huskies on January 9, 2012, in Connecticut. The Mountaineers lost that game 64-57. Since then, the Huskies have gone 6-9. They beat DePaul 81-67 today to advance to the second round.
Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier lead the Huskies in PPG averaging 17.6 and 12.4, respectively. The team is 156th in the nation in PPG averaging 68.8 PPG and 93rd in the nation in field goal percentage at 45.4%. Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi help give the Huskies its 37th ranking in rebounds. They combine for an average 12.6 a game.
Kevin Jones still leads the team, and the conference, in PPG and RPG. He averages 20 and 11.2, respectively. Truck Bryant is averaging 17.1 PPG, 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Jabarie Hinds and Gary Browne lead the team in assists averaging 6.4 per game. The team is 125th in the nation in field goal percentage at 44.5% and 87th in the nation in PPG averaging 71.8.
I want this team to be successful in this tournament. I want them to win it all. Is it probable, maybe not, but nothing is impossible. The game tips at noon and can be seen on ESPN. Let’s Go Mountaineers!