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COLUMN: Mountaineers proceed preventing, however is any assist going to sufficient?

To his credit score, Josh Eilert is just not altering his message, not even after watching West Virginia fall to St. John’s 79-73 on Friday evening within the annual Huge East-Huge 12 Battle.
That message is easy: Maintain preventing, hold battling, hold enhancing.
“Now we have challenges,” Eilert stated. “We’re not going to make excuses, simply received to maintain on preventing.”
For individuals who are searching for panic and a way of self-loathing, you’ll not discover that from Eilert, regardless of the state of affairs he’s in as an interim coach.
After which he slips this in: “Work out a solution to hold saying there’s assist coming, and there shall be to a sure extent, however it’s not right here but.”
There are simply two video games remaining earlier than level guard Kerr Kriisa is ready to return from a nine-game suspension.
Nobody is aware of how the case over RaeQuan Battle’s eligibility will end up, and nobody is aware of if ahead Akok Akok will have the ability to return from a medical state of affairs.
This may very well be assistance on the way in which, or it may very well be one thing else fully.
A false hope? Maybe. The return of Kriisa shall be welcomed, however let’s not make this out to be one thing it’s not.
Kriisa is just not the second coming of Oscar Robertson, and there’s no must put these sort of expectations on a single participant.
Extra to the purpose, although, what’s going to there be to assist?
WVU (3-4) misplaced this sport to the Crimson Storm, as a result of it didn’t make the large performs within the large moments — like rebound the ball or make a free throw — and since it has nobody capable of step up and hit an enormous shot.
Or just a little shot, for that matter.
There are not any pure shooters on this roster. There are streaky shooters. There are athletes who can do a couple of issues to get nearer to the rim, however when it comes to guys an opposing coach will circle on a chalkboard and say, “We’ve received to protect these guys,” WVU simply doesn’t have plenty of them.
Jesse Edwards is clearly a kind of, guys, however he fouled out with 2:27 remaining. Quinn Slazinski (19 factors, 7 rebounds) is growing that sort of edge you prefer to see.
Kobe Johnson has been stable, however there’s been little consistency from anybody else.
Kriisa, by himself, isn’t going to have the ability to repair all of that. He’ll assist, however …
The disgrace of all of it is Eilert wanted the entire package deal to come back collectively to make this factor work this season. He wanted Kriisa from Recreation 1. He wanted Battle and wanted Akok.
We’ll by no means really understand how this factor might have actually turned out for him, as a result of he’s been pressured to play five-card stud with simply 4 playing cards.
And somebody will ultimately have to judge the job he’s completed.
“We’re not a sufferer,” Eilert stated. “The state of affairs is what it’s. We go on the market and we battle each single possession.”
Maintain preventing. Maintain battling, it’s a constructive message these gamers must hold listening to, contemplating the state of affairs.
Eilert, too, wants to listen to his work is appreciated, which it actually is.
But WVU is at a form of crossroads in the meanwhile, a essential juncture.
Is that this a no-win state of affairs? Not but, however it might take greater than just a little assist and a message to get issues circled.
“They had been on the market preventing, however they had been outmanned in plenty of methods,” Eilert stated.