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COLUMN: Kellogg’s Mountaineers are wanting forward of schedule with 9-0 begin

Mark Kellogg has no concept who the one AP High 25 girls’s basketball voter was that gave the Mountaineers a single vote in final week’s ballot.

“We briefly talked about that we received a vote,” he stated Sunday, after WVU dismantled Delaware State 107-43 contained in the Coliseum. “It was type of in a joking method. Hey, we received one. You’ve received lots of people to persuade, however someone put us twenty fifth on their poll.”

To the one voter, Kellogg gave a honest “thanks” with a smile.
As as to whether or not the Mountaineers (9-0) deserve a couple of extra votes …

“I wish to suppose so, for certain,” Kellogg stated. “It’ll be attention-grabbing to see the place they gauge us and decide us.”

Off to its greatest begin for the reason that 2017-18 season, WVU’s early run contains final Monday’s spectacular 83-65 victory towards No. 25 Penn State.

The case towards the Mountaineers is not any secret, that exterior of that one sport towards the Nittany Lions, WVU has constructed its resumé towards some moderately common or below-average competitors.

What can’t be argued is Kellogg and his gamers have one thing particular brewing in Morgantown.

Particular in the truth that WVU’s story at this level within the season was meant to be extra introductory than anything, with Kellogg coming in as a first-time Energy 5 Convention head coach, bringing with him a wholly new fashion of play and instructing it to gamers he had by no means seen earlier than.

It was presupposed to look good some days, unhealthy the following after which perhaps good once more. Alongside the way in which, there would all the time be one thing to nag about, all the time some space that clearly wanted a bit tinkering.

Besides that’s not the kind of product Kellogg and the Mountaineers have placed on the ground this season.

“Truthfully, I didn’t suppose we have been going to attach how we’ve,” is the way in which star guard J.J. Quinerly put it after she put up 25 factors and 12 assists towards the Hornets.

What WVU has achieved is embraced Kellogg’s full-court stress fashion of protection, creating havoc for opponents, typically occasions forcing them into some actually unhealthy passes or one thing even worse.

In flip, it creates quick breaks for WVU, together with some simple baskets, a lot of stats, however extra importantly, a team-wide willingness to share the wealth.

“They need to play the correct method,” Kellogg stated. “We’re lacking a few of these performs, however that’s OK. So long as you’re keen and accepting of them and perceive the way in which we’re making an attempt to play, we will work by that.”

And WVU has created all of this in 9 video games, however the gamers have made it look, thus far, like they’ve been doing it for years.

To get again to the highest 25 argument, I truthfully don’t know if the Mountaineers are among the best 25 groups within the nation, however it’s been an extended very long time since this program has been this a lot enjoyable to observe.

Now, don’t learn in between the traces on that assertion. Kellogg has not taken the Dangerous Information Bears and turned them into winners.

Mike Carey will get the credit score for that about 20 years in the past. He gave WVU a nationwide presence, not solely in recruiting, however with an in-your-face and never-back-down sort of mentality.

What Kellogg has achieved in such a brief period of time is create one thing marketable, attention-grabbing and enjoyable with the ladies’s program.

Carey’s fashion was to create a road battle. Kellogg’s fashion brings a bit extra polish, a bit extra aptitude.

That victory towards Penn State was all about aptitude. The steals, the quick breaks, the stress and the passing, all of it created a sure sort of vitality that any fan would take pleasure in watching.

The larger query stays if WVU can nonetheless have these outcomes as soon as the opponent turns into Baylor and Texas, and nobody is aware of that greater than Kellogg.

To make certain, these Mountaineers should not indestructible. There’ll come a time when that protection isn’t as efficient. There will probably be others when a scarcity of rebounding will in all probability actually harm.

“We’re nowhere close to a refined product, but,” Kellogg stated. “What I like is we’re competing and enjoying onerous. We now have good vitality after we play. That’s the stuff you’ve received to ensure you’re doing and that’s the stuff that’s protecting up the errors.

“We’re going to make errors. There’s loads of issues we will proceed to get higher at.”

For now, although, Kellogg and WVU have written an surprising story, one which will simply lead the Mountaineers again to the nationwide rankings which can be launched Monday.

“It’ll be shut,” Kellogg stated. “I feel we definitely will, but when not, we’re going to maintain profitable and preserve getting observed nationally. If we’re not there this week, we will probably be within the subsequent week.”