Limiting Assists Key To WVU Win Over Oklahoma

Limiting Assists Key To WVU Win Over Oklahoma


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When facing great players, it’s rarely possible to totally shut them down. Talent tells, and the best players are routinely going to produce in their areas of special skills. The key, then is to figure out a way to limit some aspect of productivity, to cut into that productivity and force the opponent to find a different way.

That’s just what West Virginia did against Oklahoma’s Trae Young, who could become the first player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in both scoring and assists. While Young matched his scoring average with 29 points, he produced only five assists, which resulted in fewer than half of the points he usually accounts for in that play phase. Along the way, the Mountaineers also pushed him into eight turnovers, helping account for a 21-9 edge in points scored off miscues. That advantage was almost identical to the 13-point margin of victory.

Young certainly had his moments, but it took a lot of time with the ball, and a lot of tries, to produce them. He was only 3-12 from 3-point range, part of an 8-22 shooting night. Perhaps more importantly, fellow freshman Brady Manek, who has lived off 3-point chances from the passing of Young, got off just two shots in 23 minutes and did not score a point.

“We try to stop everybody,” WVU senior Jevon Carter said afterward. “[Young] is a good player, and he got his. But it’s a team game, and the better team won tonight. Everyone had a hand in it.”

The Mountaineers used a variety of tactics to keep young off-balance. Carter was the primary, but not the only, defender to square off with the outstanding freshman, as both Daxter Miles and Beetle Bolden took turns (and often double-teamed) Young in an effort to make him give up the ball. And on the back end loomed Sagaba Konate, who blocked five shots and limited the alley-oop and easy dishes for hoops that are also a big part of the Sooner attack. Young did find Kameron McGusty and Christian James for a couple of open perimeter shots, but they, like Young’s assist total, didn’t approach the numbers the Sooners are used to getting. Thus, a team that came in averaging nearly 96 points per game was limited to 76.

Another takeaway? This Mountaineer team is having fun right now. Even with all the challenges in the Big 12, even with rough patches like a second half stretch where the team “lost its mind” according to head coach Bob Huggins, WVU continued to play with confidence. After seeing an eight-point lead cut to two during a three-minute stretch, and scoring just five points in over a 5:30 span, West Virginia responded, and it wasn’t the veterans that did so. Konate hit a pair of jumpers, Allen scored on a coast-to-coast drive and Lamont West hit a jumper while Carter was on the bench, sending the home crowed into another frenzy. It’s the kind of atmosphere that brought Cartet to WVU, and his teammates are finding out now they can make big plays and reap the benefits of home enthusiasm too.

“It’s always fun going against a competitor,” Carter said of facing off against Young. This is the reason that I came to school, for games like this.”

 

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ccteam .

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  • #44581
    Kevin Kinder
    Kevin Kinder
    Muskets: 8,975

    Limiting Assists Key To WVU Win Over Oklahoma MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When facing great players, it’s rarely possible to totally shut them down. Talent t
    [See the full post at: Limiting Assists Key To WVU Win Over Oklahoma]

    #44620

    Ccteam
    Muskets: 61,963
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    Carter was the best point guard on the court and Allen was the best freshman. Young is a talent. Extremely quick and deadly shooter when he sets his feet. He gets that shot off quickly too. But he got knocked off his game by the superior strength of WV last night.

    #44636

    JAL
    Muskets: 4,483
    Rank: Sophomore

    Impressive they built the lead while Carter was sitting. Allen developing into a great offense player,nice touch with ball.

    #44651

    mexman
    Muskets: 34,065
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    Carter was the best point guard on the court and Allen was the best freshman. Young is a talent. Extremely quick and deadly shooter when he sets his feet. He gets that shot off quickly too. But he got knocked off his game by the superior strength of WV last night.

    Not sure Allen was the best freshman on the court but he certainly showed his talents and was a big part of a big win.

    #44663
    Butlereer
    Butlereer
    Muskets: 77,375
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    ESPiN bobbleheads today said that Trae had a part of 93% of OU’s offense. Granted, this kid can shoot and has a very quick 1st step. I’m more impressed with his range than his ability to score 29/gm. If you give any player worth their salt 25 shots a game they are going to score over 20/gm from the floor then add in the foul shots. Add in the 8 to’s (7 and 6 the past 2 games) and I’m beginning to be no that much impressed.

    #44699

    mexman
    Muskets: 34,065
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    Butler, you need only look at our game plan to understand what a special talent the kid is. To say anything else is rather silly and diminishes the job our guys did on him.

    He’s as good as there is.

    #44727

    Ccteam
    Muskets: 61,963
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    Didn’t mean Allen was a bigger talent than Young, just that he played a better game than Young Saturday night. Young is obviously an NBA first round talent, but he got bullied Saturday and responded by trying to do too much. He also incessantly wined to the refs and got a couple of calls going his way by flailing his arms when ball was cleanly stripped. Loved it when Miles got up in his grill and Young reacted by pushing on an attempted screen. When Young can set his feet he is dangerous from way out. But he was taking off balance shots from out there on several occasions. Frustrated he couldn’t get Carter and others off him.

    #44755
    Butlereer
    Butlereer
    Muskets: 77,375
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    Butler, you need only look at our game plan to understand what a special talent the kid is. To say anything else is rather silly and diminishes the job our guys did on him.

    He’s as good as there is.

    Mex, I’m not diminishing our game plan. our game plan was excellent and Carter/Dax/Beetle played the best D we’ve seen. This kid is going to get his points no matter what. He’s a phenom. But phenoms don’t necessarily turn a team into a great team. When we pressed him baseline to baseline he was rattled. We took him out of his game. If the refs were on top of their toes and called the game as it was instead of giving Trae the Foul every time he flailed his arms like a fish out of water, he would have been at the foul line at least 4 less times. And maybe not driven the paint nearly as much. Look at the tapes. He certainly got the calls that nobody else got. The kid just can’t power thru contact.

    Had the zebras not taken Carter out of the game with 2 bad calls, Trae would have been neutered for the most part. 8-22 and 3-12 are not good stats for anybody. 8 to’s would get him a seat on Huggs bench. This kid can shoot and will make his points. IMO he’s not as good of a team player that people think he is. At least not when he’s guarded like he will be at the next level. I’d bet the rest of the B12 takes note on how to guard him. Give him his 29 pts and take the rest of the team out of the equation. He tried to do it alone and you can see what happened.

    #44880

    Ccteam
    Muskets: 61,963
    Rank: Heisman Winner

    He would greatly benefit from some added muscle. He got by WV’s d with quickness a few times, but if they stayed in front of him he couldn’t get through them. Even Beetle was stronger and he was completely outmatched strength wise against Miles and Carter.

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