The WVU basketball team was deflated in its opening loss against Texas A&M.
The Mountaineers may have been worn out in that one because of the exhausting travel and pomp and circumstance surrounding the Armed Forces Classic in Germany.
Tonight, there is no excuse for that kind of demeanor. The WVU basketball team is hosting American for the home opener at the Coliseum. To avoid another mishap, the Mountaineers have to get better on offense.
The team shot too many 3-pointers against Texas A&M. This team in’t based around its offense, but a better scoring output needs to happen to win games against lowly American, as well as in Big 12 competition later in the season.
American and the Mountaineers will have one common opponent this season as the Eagles have around faced Big 12 foe Kansas State. Last Friday, Kansas State beat American, 83-45. That should be somewhat of a measuring stick for what the WVU basketball team will face because KSU was picked to finish ninth in the conference, according to SI.com, while WVU was picked second.
The Mountaineers may not reach KSU’s output of 83 against American, but it should be able to limit the opposition to the 40s, like the Wildcats did. The leading scorer for American in that game was Larry Motuzis, who scored 17. The Mountaineers need to shut him down and control the glass to get a sizable lead early on.
Instead of focusing on 3-pointers and outside shots, the Mountaineers need to look inside and get the ball to Lamont Wade and Sagaba Konate. They may get in foul trouble, though. That’s a risk WVU takes each time it steps on the floor because it is so aggressive with its play on defense.
By scaling it down a tone and laying off the “Press Virginia” schemes, maybe WVU can play a more disciplined style of basketball and still treat the home fans to a resounding victory.
The Mountaineers have a chance to do some special things this season, even though they have started to slip out of the national polls. Those special moments can get back on track tonight at home.