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Battle of the bigs: Jesse Edwards, Joel Soriano a significant focus in WVU-St. John’s sport

MORGANTOWN — If the sport performs out like Josh Eilert expects, there shall be some good and unhealthy information at present for WVU middle Jesse Edwards when the Mountaineers host St. John’s.

The excellent news: Edwards — the Mountaineers’ imposing man within the center standing 6-foot-11 and 240 kilos — will possible not be doubled- and triple-teamed by the Crimson Storm, as he has for a lot of this season.

“Primarily based on what I’ve seen on movie, they’re in all probability going to imagine they will deal with Jesse one-on-one,” Eilert defined.

The unhealthy information: There’s a giant cause why St. John’s coach Rick Pitino feels that approach.

Enter Crimson Storm middle Joel Soriano, a 6-11, 250-pound man, whose stats (16.2 factors, 10.3 rebounds) are simply as spectacular as Edwards’ 15.8 factors and 10.7 rebounds per sport.

“They haven’t proven a variety of doubles,” Eilert continued. “They in all probability imagine going into it that Soriano can maintain his personal in opposition to Jesse. It’s going to be match-up. These are two actually good bigs and it’s going to be enjoyable to see them battle.”

The battle of the 2 giants suggestions off at 7 p.m. Friday within the WVU Coliseum, within the annual Massive East-Massive 12 Battle.

Eilert’s idea then arrange the subsequent query: Can Edwards, too, maintain his personal and hold WVU gamers from double-teaming Soriano?

“I believe Jesse will do advantageous with Soriano,” he replied. “They’ve a variety of methods to assault you, so it’s a must to watch out what you do defensively in the event you do ship a double at them. I don’t anticipate Jesse having too many issues, however (Soriano) does current a problem when it comes to getting Jesse in foul bother.”

Each gamers rank within the prime 20 nationally in rebounding and they’re two of simply 24 gamers within the nation averaging a double-double on the season.

“It’s going to be an excellent battle,” WVU ahead Quinn Slazinski mentioned. “I’ve been capable of watch them each carefully. Clearly, sporting a West Virginia jersey, I guess on my aspect each day, however it’s going to be an excellent matchup.”

Soriano down low will not be Eilert’s solely concern. Very similar to SMU did earlier this season, St. John’s is predicted to strain the Mountaineers full-court with the hope of sporting WVU down.

Little issues like merely inbounding the ball is not going to come simply in opposition to the Crimson Storm’s strain.

“We’ve received to be poised and regular and we will’t get rattled,” Eilert mentioned. “That was the identical message in opposition to SMU. You find yourself burning eight or 9 seconds simply to get into your offense. Any likelihood they get, they’re going to place the strain on our guards and make it taxing on us to get the ball down the ground.

“It’s very taxing, particularly while you don’t have the proper depth to assault it. So, we’re counting on one or two guys to do this all the sport.”

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