WVU’s Bolden: “We Have To Stay 10 Toes Down’
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–There’s no question that Beetle Bolden is frustrated.
He doesn’t show it a great deal in postgame situations, as he calmly addresses media questions while the total in West Virginia’s loss column continue to grow. He goes out of his way to praise those few teammates who are performing well. During games, though, at certain point, it can be seen on his face as he reacts to the results on the court.
To his credit, though, he’s not letting it affect his play. Against Oklahoma State, he piled up 31 points in just 26 minutes of action while playing hellbent-for-leather. All but two of those points came in the second half, when, following a familiar pattern, he got two fouls early in the first and was forced to sit out the remainder of the opening 20 minutes.
That might be the most confounding thing of all for the ultra-competitive junior — not being able to play and help his team. In several games this year, he’s had to sit out a good bit of time after getting early fouls, in order to preserve him so he is available down the stretch. At times, he has responded as he did against the Cowboys. Others, such as in the prior game against Kansas State, were at the opposite end of the spectrum, In that contest, he played 20 minutes and did not score, missing his only two shots (both three-point attempts).
Through it, though, he has been leaning on something that he and friends from his home in Covington, Kentucky, say to keep each other grounded.
“We just have to stay all ten toes down,” said Bolden, sparking a followup question on the deeper meaning of the phrase. “We use that where I come from. Keep your ten toes down and head up and continue to push forward.”
A bit of Internet research reveals some other, related meanings for the phrase, with “staying committed” standing out as also apropos of the Mountaineers’ current situation.
For Bolden, that’s not a problem. The only things that keep him off the court are the myriad injuries he’s suffered over the course of his career.
“We had Beetle, then we didn’t have Beetle, then we have Beetle,” head coach Bob Huggins observed. “You can’t do anything about injuries. It’s just like they healed up enough to play, and then, they got hurt again. It’s
hard to have any continuity that way.”
Bolden doesn’t like to talk about those – again, there’s the frustration factor in something that keeps him away from the game – but he also says he isn’t going to let it affect him.
“It comes with the game,” he said when asked if he has ever felt this way about a string of results. “It’s just how you react to it, react to adversity.”