Routt Gains Game Experience In Exhibition Win
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -In West Virginia’s first contest since the Dec. 9 Backyard Brawl, forward Logan Routt and the rest of the men’s basketball team returned to Morgantown Saturday and beat the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals 98-50, in an exhibition game
The six-foot-11 inch Routt, who has been in and out of head coach Bob Huggins’s rotation during the regular season, played 19 minutes and recorded seven points in Saturday’s exhibition. The sophomore from Cameron, W.Va., mad 3-of-4 shots from the field and 1-of-6 from the free throw line to go along 10 rebounds. With Huggins seeking more depth at the post position, he often takes Routt aside for some teaching moments.
“He gets it all the time.” Huggins said. “He’s usually a better free-throw shooter than that, he’s usually better around the rim than he was the first time he was in the game. He needs to remember you have to play hard on defense and slow down on offense. We just were playing too fast.”
“That was Logan’s problem,” stated WVU’s head coach. :He doesn’t get reps that, obviously, (Sagaba Konate) gets or what Maciej (Bender) gets. We’re trying to make sure he understands what his responsibilities are. He played a little better when we went into 1-3-1 (zone defense).”
With forward Esa Ahmad, one of the 2016-17 West Virginia team’s best scorer, rebounder, and interior passer, suspended for another six games, Routt also recognizes the importance of team depth.
“Everybody showed that we have more depth.” Routt said. “We played Wheeling Jesuit but everybody felt more comfortable playing a game like this. (D’Angelo Hunter) played really well, Wes (Harris) played well, Maciej (Bender) played well, and all of the guys coming off the bench played well. So it’s good to get some confidence instead of practicing against each other for two weeks straight. It was nice we got to play against another team.”
With the intensity that the Press Virginia era of Mountaineers requires of the players, depth is a critical element to winning games to keep the intensity and pressure up for an entire 400minute game.
“Last year we had seniors coming off the bench – Tarik (Phillip), Teyvon (Myers) – and now we’re trying to build younger guys to fill those spots.” Routt said. “I think they’re doing a good job, but they’re still young. They’ll make mistakes because they go hard, but coming off the bench and giving us energy is what we’re looking for.”
The absence of seniors coming off the bench and bringing their combination of leadership and energy gives the younger role players such as Teddy Allen, Maciej Bender, Chase Harler and Beetle Bolden a large gap to fill heading into Big 12 Conference games, which starts in less than two weeks against Oklahoma State.
“It’s just about coming out with energy.” Routt said. “If you can come off the bench and give energy and do your role, I think that makes up for what we had last year because that’s what Tarik and Teyvon did. They came off and played really hard. They were seniors, so they were smart leaders out there. But I feel like Dax (Miles) and (Jevon Carter) do a good job of being able to play most of the game and not get into foul trouble.”
West Virginia plays two more non-conference games at home – Dec. 20 against Coppin State and Dec. 23 against Fordham – before opening Big 12 action at Oklahoma State on Dec. 29.