Yes, we're smack in the middle of football season. But since we're acutely aware that the Big East started as, currently is, and will always be a basketball conference, our football bye week provides us the perfect opportunity to turn our attention to basketball for a minute. With Mountaineer Madness set for this Friday at 7:30 (admission is free to the public), head coach Bob Huggins is preparing a very young but talented squad for another grueling season in the Big East. Gone to graduation are key members of last year's NCAA squad (and, in large part, the 2010 Final Four team) John Flowers, Joe Mazzulla, Cam Thoroughman, Casey Mitchell and Jonnie West. Lost to transfer are Danny Jennings and Dalton Pepper. That leaves only Truck Bryant, Kevin Jones, Deniz Kilicli and Kevin Noreen returning to help the youngsters acclimate to the college game. If nothing else, it will be fun to watch the new players develop individually and as a team as they try to make their way back to the NCAA tournament for the fifth consecutive year.
Pico Dulce over at the St. John's blog Rumble in the Garden did a Big East Blogger Roundtable a few weeks ago where he posited a series of questions to bloggers from all the Big East basketball schools. Since we're a little light on football news this week, we're going to re-post my answers to his questions here. You'll find the full panoply of answers by clicking the linked question.
The first question is: Who is your team's biggest loss?
My answer: John Flowers
Flowers grew from an athletic but raw freshman into arguably WVU's most complete all-around player. He was a lock-down defender (both on the perimeter and in the paint), blocked shots and rebounded well. He also made himself into a serviceable player on the offensive end, leaving WVU in scoring in several games down the stretch. His consistency will be missed.
What do you think? Do you agree or would you argue for Joe Mazzula? Or maybe even Casey Mitchell? As always, post your answers in the comments section.