MORGANTOWN — It could be simple to say Quinn Slazinski is taking part in with a chip on his shoulder, but that doesn’t fairly cowl all of it.
The best way the WVU senior ahead sees his scenario this season, it’s extra than simply merely making an attempt to show one thing to himself, one other coach or to, effectively, everybody else.
There’s a stage of play he strived to succeed in, but it by no means appeared attainable for thus lengthy, one way or the other dangling simply out of his attain it doesn’t matter what Slazinski did.
He left his Texas dwelling when he was 15 to hunt a greater highschool basketball alternative at Huntington Prep. COVID-19 kind of derailed his plans at Louisville, an harm stored him saddled at Iona.
“That is one thing I do know I might have been doing the final couple of years,” Slazinski mentioned Thursday, in reviewing how he’s the Mountaineers’ main scorer at 16.3 factors per sport. “Not saying that in an conceited approach, however I’ve labored my butt off my entire life.”
Lastly that work is exhibiting up on the court docket, and we’re seeing Slazinski at his full potential.
“I’ve been taking part in with loads of emotion my entire life for the love of the sport,” Slazinski mentioned. “I don’t wish to sound ungrateful, however I really feel like I haven’t received out of the sport all that I need. I’m type of taking part in mad; mad at how issues went at Louisville and mad at how issues went at Iona.
“Simply type of taking part in with anger, and in the event you channel that in the appropriate course, it will probably actually flip a participant and provides him superpowers. That’s how I prefer to view that aggressive edge.”
Which units up the story fairly properly, because the Mountaineers (3-3) are set to host St. John’s (4-2) at 7 p.m. Friday within the annual Large East-Large 12 Battle.
St. John’s coach Rick Pitino might be making his first go to to the Coliseum since 2012, when he was nonetheless teaching Louisville.
He spent the final two seasons teaching Slazinski at Iona, which is all the rationale for Slazinski saying, “I’ve had this sport circled on my calendar for a very long time.”
That isn’t to be learn as Slazinski making an attempt to settle some outdated rating, as if this was some outdated western from the Sixties.
“This isn’t me in opposition to Rick Pitino,” he mentioned.
Fact be instructed, if St. John’s roster wasn’t as deep because it at the moment is in Pitino’s first season on the faculty, it’s not misplaced on Slazinski he might very effectively be taking part in in opposition to the Mountaineers at the moment.
That was his authentic thought final spring. Pitino took the job and moved on from Iona, bringing a few of his gamers with him.
“ (St. John’s) roster, they already had 14 guys who had performed 20 minutes a sport,” Slazinski mentioned. “Pitino was effectively conscious of my targets and what I needed in my profession.
“It’s robust getting yelled at from somebody like that and likewise splitting minutes with somebody. I used to be going to play for him in my fifth 12 months, if it meant I might have an enormous alternative. That was a approach, I really feel like me, mentally, would be capable to play for him.”
The chance to play main minutes got here from WVU.
“It was my determination to return right here and have the chance I’ve,” Slazinski continued. “The time I dedicated to West Virginia, (it) was already lacking (forwards). It was a no brainer.”
And so Slazinski might be on the lookout for these superpowers Friday as an edge for victory. There might be loads of acquainted faces going in opposition to him.
Not simply Pitino, however assistant coaches and former teammates, a few of whom have been former roommates with Slazinski at Iona.
Pitino delivered to St. John’s from Iona, “The entire teaching workers and about 4 or 5 gamers,” Slazinski mentioned. “It’s going to be good to see them. The trainers, they introduced everybody. I’m going to see if their trainers will tape my ankle earlier than the sport.”
Slazinski used the phrase “fireplace” to elucidate what might be inside him. He’s already confirmed to be an emotional voice and participant on the court docket this season.
To be on the secure facet, WVU head coach Josh Eilert spoke with Slazinski about holding it at a fireplace and never letting it rage into one thing extra.
“We’ve already had a number of conversations,” Eilert mentioned. “Quinn’s ardour is usually a double-edged sword. I like guys who play with ardour and depth.
“What I’ve instructed him is maintain that zeal and depth inside your teammates. You do this, you’ll be simply high-quality. It’s going to be an emotional sport for him, I get it. We simply have to channel it in the appropriate course.”
ST. JOHN’S at WVU
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
WHERE: WVU Coliseum
TV: ESPN2 (Comcast 28, HD 851; DirecTV 209; DISH 143)
RADIO: 100.9 JACK-FM