Fifteen games in, this Mountaineer basketball season is going better than anyone could have imagined. West Virginia sits at 14-1, #14 in the AP poll, and is a blown defensive assignment away from being undefeated and (likely) in the top 5-7 nationally.
Since West Virginia is (basically) at the halfway point in the season, I thought it would be a good time to recap some of the great plays we've seen from the gold and blue this year.
Here are the top five plays this season by the Mountaineer basketball team:
#5. Jonathan Holton Goes Coast-To-Coast
Holton has been fairly quiet the past few games, thanks in large part to foul trouble, but plays like this show how good he can really be. Having a big man that can steal the ball inside, go the length of the floor while blowing past smaller guards, and finish could be a heck of a luxury to have. Now, if we could just get him to finish more around the rim...
#4. Jevon Carter's D Leads To Easy Bucket
Man, this guy is an absolute beast on defense. Carter already has 34 steals on the season, second in the Big 12, and gets his hands on everything. He's also a really good passer, finding Miles here with a perfect lob. As I said in the Texas Tech recap, Jevon Carter is the point guard of the future.
#3. Macon SWAT
Outside of Jevon Carter, I think I've enjoyed watching Elijah Macon most among the new guys. The guy is absolutely full of energy, on the court and on the bench. He's been improving every game, aside from missing Monday's contest with bruised ribs. Although the Mountaineers
gave away lost the game to LSU, Macon's defense here had the Coliseum jumping.
#2. Holton Baseline Slam
I probably have this higher than most people would, but this is an NBA-level move by Holton. The George Mason defender fails to cut off the baseline, and Sponge makes him pay. I wish we would see more of Holton putting the ball on the floor and taking his man off the dribble.
#1. Staten Goes All-Out
This hustle play by Staten personifies what the Mountaineers have tried to be this season. Defense first, 100% effort, anything it takes to win. The game was already in hand, with West Virginia going on for a 31 point victory, but Staten never let off the gas. This dive led to Jevon Carter getting an and-one.
This type of effort is why West Virginia has been so fun to watch this season, why they're sitting at 14-1, and why Mountaineer fans are dreaming as big as they have since 2010. Enjoy this group. They're special.