It’s Saturday afternoon in January and somehow I am sitting on the porch watching sports. I do love the snow, but this is welcome respite from cold rain. As the day is completely random and out of the blue, so are my thoughts. Below are a few random musings that happen to be on my brain today and I feel honored to share them with you.
I am all in favor for of Huggins current starting lineup of Hinds, Gary Browne, Dom, Henderson, and Noreen. I am particularly happy with the big guys. If the rest of the team doesn’t buy into the system, then sit them until they figure it out. Players have to play the game the way the coach directs you, so I applaud Huggs for doing what most coaches won’t, and sitting star player. It’s an overstatement to say that Rutledge is an offensive liability, but what are we losing? Murray is our leading scorer, I know, but he is very inconsistent from week to week and even within the game. Kilicli is shooting .384, which frankly is awful from the range that he shoots. What I love about Dom is that you know he is going to hustle and give his all every minute he is in there. When players play with heart, I can deal with their shortcomings. Hopefully by playing guys like Dom and Noreen for extended minutes, we will light a fire under the other guys, because we certainly could use them, but until then, I will enjoy watching the guys who appear to actually want to be on the court.
Has anyone else noticed how bad the announcing is on the “Big 12 Network” games? I’m not trying to toot the horn of Warren Baker, Dan Potash and the Root Sports cast, but they at least have a clue of what they are talking about while covering WVU. I don’t care that the Big 12 guys don’t know a lot about our team, but good lord there are awful statements with glaring inaccuracies that leave even a casual fan scratching his head protruding from some these announcers. For example, Jabarie Hinds was said to be the compass of our team today. Really? I’d pick a good handful of players over him for that honor, or really dishonor considering that we don’t have any consistent players. It seems some of these guys employ the philosophy of when in doubt, make it up.
It’s truly a beautiful day in West Virginia when you can sit outside on January 12 to watch a sporting event. If you are a fan of tailgating, barbequing, and porch sitting like I am, you took advantage of this great day and watched the basketball game outdoors with some beers. I am typically a simple man when it comes to beer. Bud Light is fine and if you toss me a Busch, I’ll drink it. However, I do occasionally like a brew with more character and with that in mind, I am thankful that a couple of West Virginia’s breweries have began branching out. I can now get a Bridge Brews about anywhere in Charleston, and while leaving Morgantown last night, I was able to a growler of Mountain State beer. I have long enjoyed their beer while in Davis, and am glad that it has expanded out of that part of the state. To celebrate this, I began the game against Kansas State with a Miners Daughter Oatmeal Stout.
Hey, I said this would be my random musings right?
The WVU coaching carousel has been spinning wildly the past few days with two hirings and an additional departure. In so far, we have Tony Gibson and Brian Mitchell, out we have Jake Spavital who has taken a job at Texas A&M. We will miss Spavital as he is highly regarded as an upcoming young coach, but it’s tough to blame him for moving on to a major program while picking up co-coordinator duties. As for the coaching prowess Gibson and Mitchell coming in as replacements for Dunlap and Roberts, well mama told me if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. Much of the Mountaineer fanbase is up in arms as Gibson, who was heavily rumored to be shredding staff paperwork and calling recruits instantaneously after Rich Rod decided to pack up and head to Ann Arbor (with Gibby in tow), is now being welcomed back. To top that off, he spent his entire previous tenure in Morgantown constantly being attacked as our weakest link in the coaching staff. There were poor fundamentals and numerous highlight reels for opposing wide receivers under his tenure. In retrospect, we had David Lockwood who came in and significantly improved the secondary only to revert back a few years later to the same coach that caused so much vitriol. Mitchell, well he did just get fired from ECU. Granted he has a long tenure in the Big XII as a decent corners coach, but certainly underwhelming.
The positive side of the hires is that we have drastically upgraded in recruiting prowess which is an extremely important aspect considering our obvious talent differential that was exposed this year. To all of his detriment, Gibby was always one of our best recruiters. Mitchell is considered to be decent. Add onto that that Mike Casazza is saying that Lonnie Galloway is coming back into the fold, one of Stew’s better recruiters, we could have a very solid recruiting staff. All in all I would rate the coaching hires as C+, with a chance to be a solid B. Ideally you can have a coach who can educate players on the game as well as attract them to the school. Most of the guys we have brought in only have the second feature.
Well that is all that my middling mind is thinking of today. Enjoy the fine weather while it lasts my friends.