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December 9, 2019 at 7:18 pm #106139
Upon further review
I went back and watched a replay of the WVU-St. John game and came up with conclusions based on my years of sportswriting experience.
This team has the assets to make a serious run in March Madness, IF:
1. It reduces the over-dribbling and the clumsy dribbling in a crowd.
2. It improves on the sloppy passing.
3. Turnovers caused by 1 and 2 must be reduced. Once you get past 10 turnovers a game you are in the “done” part of a one-and-done March Madness.
4. It improves free throw shooting percentage. It will take 70% FT shooting in March Madness to win. You are giving away points with NO ONE guarding you. Inexcusable.
The good things I saw that will help in March Madness:
1. Not cracking under pressure. Down by 9 late in the game, WVU made a 9-0 run to tie the game at 68-68.
2. Rebounding. I know we have height. But this is height that snares the ball.
3. 3-point shooting. The problem is that some of the better 3-point shooters give up more points on defense than those who don’t make the 3’s as well.
4. Huggins. His record cannot be denied. And March Madness pressure is nothing new to him.
Also, I watched the foul call with 5 seconds left over and over, with stop-action and millisecond after millisecond looks. St. John’s player slipped BEFORE he was touched. It should have been either a traveling call or a no call. The game on the line and the refs blew it.
Another observation: I am disappointed in McCabe. I really thought, based on last season, that he would be better than he has shown this season. Something is amiss. I can’t put my finger on it. But if McCabe doesn’t climb to the improvement needed from one season to the next, he could be a problem for Huggins.
I like this team. I think it can do outstanding things in the Big 12 and March Madness. But 1 through 4 on my improvement list are critical to making that happen.
Huggins will not be to blame. The players need to just do what he tells them to do, during the game and in the practices.
No charge for my expertise that paid for my travels to 56 countries and 44 states, 30 winters in Florida of up to 4 months, 20 years of season tickets in Mountaineer Field and a market portfolio — with luck, of course — that some who work overtime to knock me would give their right arm to have.
I love WVU. I love West Virginia, my native state. Hell, I married a Cinderella girl from West Virginia and we watched in Mountaineer Field for decades before she passed away way too young.
I am a coal miner’s son and I never forget that when I’m dealing with people or my decisions in life. I wouldn’t trade my Monongah childhood for all the money in Donald Trump’s vault. Hell, all the money that Warren Buffett has, too.
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