Whatever WVU was against Kansas State, Baylor and Villanova…we weren’t against Seton Hall last week. For those of us whose hearts tend to override our heads, it is time to agree with the WVU basketball coach’s assessment of the team: we’re not a very good most of the time. We’ve lost to the two ranked opponents we’ve played, and got whacked – Tony Soprano style - in New Jersey last week by the Pirates.
The bad news is that we’re back in Jersey tonight for a sit down with Rutgers. While we’re not facing off against the Boss of NJ’s basketball empires, as vulnerable as WVU appears to be, we might be facing a "Christopher Moltisonti" type assault. Last week I incorrectly assessed that both Rutgers contests this year could be counted on for wins. Then, between Christmas and New Year’s Day, 10th ranked Florida traveled to Jersey and the Scarlett Knights clipped them in 2OT. And Princeton (a team that beat Rutgers) beat Florida State in Tallahassee in 3OT.
If you’re going to get into a street fight with the Mountaineer basketball team (metaphorically speaking, that is), it is now pretty evident what to do: take out the two toughest guys and watch the others run for cover. As Huggs said regarding Jones and Bryant’s 8 for 32 (25%) shooting effort in last week’s Garden State visit, "We’re not going to win when those guys shoot the ball like that."
Unfortunately for our gang, the Rutgers crew isn’t as easy to assess. They have no one averaging more than 13 points per game and only three guys averaging in double figures. No one on the team averages double digits in rebounds, either. Seven different players are logging more than 20 minutes each game. Lots of Lieutenants - not a lot of Captains. And, we’re also meeting on their turf.
This game could go either way. The few days between games should help the Mountaineers heal up from injury: Jones' sprained ankle and Kilicli's hip pointer. I expect that the Senior Capos on our team (KJ, Deniz & Truck) sat down with Huggs and he motivated them to be good earners and kick up to him the tribute he deserves. Sorry. Got carried away with the mafia stuff.
Tip off is 7:00 p.m. on the Big East Network, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3. Can’t wait to have my WVU hoops 2nd half going during the Orange Bowl. A first for all of us!