OK, I see everyone's hand raised. And that's good, because when your best player scores 43 points, it usually means you're winning the game.
Fine, I'll admit, it's unlikely that Da'Sean Butler scores 43 points tonight. But it's certainly not impossible, especially considering he went off for 33 just this past Saturday against St. John's. But really, considering the options this Mountaineer teams has at its disposal, Butler doesn't need to score 43 to win. But there are a few things that do need to happen. What are they? Boy, am I glad you asked...
- Take care of the basketball. Early in the St. John's game, we played with a certain, I don't know, out-of-controlness that led to a 16 point deficit. It's kind of Truck's strong-suit. Enter Joe Mazzulla, who slowed down the Mountaineer attack, found better shots, and sparked a run that eventually resulted in a 19 point blowout. I'm not saying Truck can't do it, because we've seen that he can, but it would help if both point guards contributed to taking care of the basketball.
- Get Ebanks involved early. Devin has been a different kind of star this year; while not scoring a ton, he's been a monster on the glass and an absolute shut-down defender. Those are very important skills, but we still need him to be an offensive threat. As we saw in the Louisville game, Ebanks was hot early, then had the confidence to take the ball to the rack late in the game. If we can get him some early buckets, hopefully that bravado will continue throughout the contest. If he's cold early, or is gun shy, it may lead to trouble late.
- Whenever Butler wants to shoot, let him shoot. I don't think this one needs much explanation. He's our best player, our best clutch shooter, and should be able to do whatever he wants. Do work, son.
- Kick Scotty Reynolds in the shins. Well, not literally, but play such suffocating defense that that's what it feels like we're doing to him. That will most likely involve Mazzulla, who can fire up an entire crowd with a steal or two. Considering Reynolds is one of the top guards in the best conference in the country, we will need all the defensive stops/steals we can get.