West Virginia basketball won’t live by the 3 this season

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 16: Nathan Adrian
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 16: Nathan Adrian /

The exhibition game against Albany will not be indicative of the offensive plans for West Virginia this season.

In his postgame remarks, head coach Bob Huggins said the Mountaineers took too many shots from behind the arc. West Virginia attempted 35 3-pointers in the exhibition win against Albany, but only came up with 13 makes.

The best 3-point shooters for West Virginia were Lamont West and James Bolden. These players did not see a lot of playing time last year, but when they were in the games they made their presence felt.

It seems that West Virginia fans will get to know West and Bolden a lot better this year, even though Bob Huggins doesn’t want them to be throwing up 3s all day. Against Albany, West was 5 of 9 from behind-the-arc and Bolden was 4 of 7. Newcomer Teddy Allen was 0 for 3.

Shooting just 37 percent as a team from 3-point land is not a good look. Albany, on the other hand, shot 33 percent as it was 5 of 15 on 3-pointers. Between West and Bolden, they both shot more 3-pointers than Albany as a collective team.

It’s apparent that West and Bolden will be the complimentary offensive pieces to Jevon Carter, who was the team’s leading scorer last season. That title may belong to West or Bolden if they remain consistent with their scoring. By taking some of the pressure off himself, Carter can focus on running the offensive and bringing his assist total up by spreading the ball around.

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Huggins wants to see the ball fed down low more often. Sophomore Sagaba Konate made a huge impact last season and his scoring total should rise and he improves on his touch around the rim. Huggins would rather see the big guys dump in sure shots than the wing players throwing up desperation 3-pointers.

"“We shot way too many threes,” Huggins told Blue Gold News. “We shot 35 threes. More than half of our shots were threes. That’s not a formula for success. But when you throw it in to your post guys and they fumble it around and don’t score it, then you have to shoot. And we didn’t score a point in transition. We did off steals, but not in transition.”"

More often than not, Carter will lead those transition points. If the steals keep coming like they did last season, the Mountaineers will see a majority of their points coming in transition.

Huggins did say that the defense may change a little bit, but it shouldn’t slow down their desire to record steals and create points off those turnovers. Huggins has revised his coaching philosophy a few times in the 10 years he has been at West Virginia, but he will stick to his guns about scoring around the rim.

Next: All-time WVU basketball team

If anyone remembers the days of Joe Herber and Patrick Beilein, it’s best to forget them when comparing it to today’s Mountaineers. The 3-point shots will stay, but they won’t thrive in Bob Huggins’ world.