Routt Stays In His Lane
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Mountaineer basketball coach Bob Huggins repeats over and over one of his key philosophies – “Do what you can do, don’t show me what you can’t do.”
Logan Routt is a perfect example of someone who takes that to heart.
The 6-foot-11 junior from Cameron, W.Va., has never scored more than seven points in a game in his three seasons playing for his home state school. But when called upon, he typically does what’s asked of him.
“He does what he can do,” Huggins said of his walk-on center. “He doesn’t get out of his lane, so to speak. We have a whole bunch of guys who if they drove the way they played, you wouldn’t want to be on the road with them, because they are all over the map. Logan just does his thing and does what he can do. He stays in his lane.”
What Routt did Wednesday night in WVU’s 92-78 victory over Rider was to equal his career high in scoring with seven points and eclipse his career high in rebounding with eight.
His steady performance was needed because West Virginia was forced to play without its normal starting center, Sagaba Konate, who was suffering from knee pain and was unable to perform Wednesday.
“Logan puts in a lot of work in practice. He works hard, and without Sags tonight, that’s what we needed Logan to do,” explained WVU junior forward Lamont West, who led all scorers Wednesday with 20 points. “Everybody has to do what they can do. He’s not going to go out there and get 30 (points) – not saying that he can’t – but his role is to go out there and get rebounds and do what he can do.”
It’s in that rebounding category where Routt typically excels. Through his career, he’s generally averaged more rebounds than points, and that’s almost the case this year, as he currently averaging 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
“Offensive rebounding is the thing I really am asked to do the most,” Routt explained. “Against a smaller team like this one tonight, I tried to get anything that came off the rim. I’m bigger than everyone else on the floor, so I had to take advantage of my size.”
His teammates noticed his effort.
“I appreciate what Logan did tonight,” said freshman point guard Jordan McCabe, who had just one point but handed out a career-high eight assists. “Our mantra is to do what you do and don’t do what you can’t do, because that generally turns out bad.
“Logan played with a lot of energy and was all over the floor,” added McCabe. “If we can all play with that level of effort, we should be in good shape.”
Without Konate available, Routt got his first start as a Mountaineer.
“In high school, one of my football coaches, who was a military guy, used to say, ‘If someone drops their rifle, are you going to sit there and crap yourself or are you going to pick it up and start shooting?’” he said. “Sags was down tonight, so I just tried to fill in and do what I could do.
“It was different to start tonight and have your name called and to run out the carpet, but in the end, it was just another game,” noted Routt, who had played in 47 games in his WVU career before getting his first-ever start on Wednesday. “It was cool to run out the carpet for the first time as a starter, me being a West Virginia guy and knowing where I came from, but I just had to treat it like it was another game.”
Where Routt comes from is the small Marshall County town of Cameron, where he played Class A football and basketball for the Dragons. Not many college recruiters make it to Cameron, which is 56 miles west of Morgantown. Thus Routt’s only real opportunity to play past high school was as a walk-on at WVU.
“Logan has come so far, it’s crazy,” said Huggins, whose team improved to 4-2 with the win over Rider. “Coming out of high school, he wasn’t even getting recruited by the (Mountain East) Conference schools, the D-II schools. But he’s worked and worked and worked, and made himself a legitimate player in the (Power 5).”
And one who is willing to stay in his lane.