WVU Basketball Notebook: Blocks and The Brawl

WVU Basketball Notebook: Blocks and The Brawl

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — On Saturday, not long after Sagaba Konate broke D’or Fischer’s West Virginia University career record for blocked shots with his 191st, someone asked coach Bob Huggins if he had seen anyone in his 38 years of coaching better at the skill of blocking shots that Konate.

“Don’t forget, I had Kenyon,” Huggins said.

West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate (50) rejects the dunk attempt of Khadeem Lattin (3)

Kenyon Martin, of course, is the best player Huggins ever coached, having had him at Cincinnati and counting on him to lead him to a national championship which he firmly believes he would have won until Martin broke his leg in the conference tournment.

Martin wound up being named college basketball’s Player of the Year as a senior.

“He’s not Kenyon,” Huggins said. “Not yet. Kenyon would stand behind another defender and jump and catch it, which is good.”

Martin wound up his career with 292 blocks, including 107 in his senior year.

But Huggins is not degrading what Konate can and does do.

“What Sags can do that the rest of those guys couldn’t do is block it with two hands,” he said after the Pitt game in which Konate made a dazzling two-handed block and took the ball away. “The one that he caught with two hands up there is big time.

“He blocks shots with two hands better than anyone I’ve seen.”

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Sags Konate on how WVU could beat Pitt despite committing 26 turnovers and shooting 29 percent:

“When you play hard you can overcome a lot of mistakes.”

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Sometimes it seems like Esa Ahmad got to Morgantown right after Jerry West left but he is only a fourth-year senior. Still it was very surprising when he was asked about his experiences with the Backyard Brawl.

“This is my first time to be part of the rivalry,” he said. “It was new for me.”

Indeed, the two teams did not play the first two years he was here and last year when they played he was sitting out a suspension.

Hopefully, in the future all players on both teams will get to experience the Backyard Brawl on an annual basis.

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Here’s an interesting twist on the Konate-Fischer shot blocking records.

The two are also tied for most shots blocked in a game with nine.

Fischer originally set his record in 2004 against Rhode Island.

WVU’s next foe? Yep, Rhode Island. It would be something if he could break Fischer’s single-game record against the same team Fischer set it against.

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How bad has the turnover problem been for WVU this year?

Well, the Mountaineers have 148 turnovers through nine games. Last year they had their 148th turnover in their 13th game.

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