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Shorthanded WVU faces one other powerful impediment in Virginia’s pack-line protection

MORGANTOWN — Think about for a second a pile of 1,000 cement bricks that should be moved to a different space simply 25 toes away.

The primary 50 come simply, possibly even the primary 100 or 200.

Finally, although, shifting these blocks take a toll. The pile, regardless that it’s getting smaller, someway appears to grow to be an even bigger impediment because the minutes slowly flip into hours.

The WVU males’s basketball group bought a dose of that feeling on Monday, or as head coach Josh Eilert mentioned about his group’s 70-58 loss towards SMU, “They wore us down.”


For 40 minutes, WVU needed to take care of the Mustangs’ fixed full-court man-to-man strain.

Simply getting the ball inbounds typically required setting one or two screens simply to get a participant open to absorb the move.

At first, it wasn’t that troublesome, however these cement blocks can take a toll on even the younger and robust school athlete.

The Mountaineers are principally right down to a six-man roster with backup guard Jeremiah Bembry out with an harm.

Eilert performed backup ahead Pat Suemnick simply eight minutes, saying afterward he simply couldn’t discover extra of a chance to get Suemnick into the sport.

“Actually pleased with our guys. They competed and competed,” Eilert mentioned. “There’s not rather a lot you are able to do when the opposite group is enjoying 10 or 11 guys and we’re enjoying the minutes we’re enjoying.”

As soon as the second half started, the Mountaineers (2-2) had seemingly run right into a cement wall. Their as soon as 12-point cushion within the opening seconds of the second half had been depleted simply six minutes into the half.

Transferring on to Wednesday’s comfort sport, WVU will face its first Prime 25-ranked opponent in No. 24 Virginia (4-1), which presents its personal challenges, however not precisely what the Mountaineers noticed in SMU.

“I’d wish to sluggish this factor down a little bit bit and be a little bit extra deliberate ourselves,” Eilert mentioned.

The Cavaliers, underneath head coach Tony Bennett, will just do that.

Bennett’s pack-line protection is known for slowing the tempo of video games down and taking pictures for low scores.
It’s additionally designed to snuff out scoring alternatives across the rim and within the paint, forcing opponents to beat Virginia from the surface.

It didn’t work in Virginia’s 65-41 loss towards Wisconsin, because the Badgers scored 30 factors within the paint and related on 25 discipline objectives.

“You all the time have that feeling that we’re there first and we’re anticipating,” Bennett mentioned after the sport. “We have been late and behind and second. They bought us behind and we have been lackadaisical.”

Nonetheless, Virginia is permitting simply 53.8 factors per sport, which is fifth within the nation, and about on par with what the Cavaliers shoot for underneath Bennett.

WVU heart Jesse Edwards — the Mountaineers’ prime deal with offense — will doubtless really feel smothered and congested all through the sport.

WVU might want to make some pictures from the surface, which hasn’t been its robust swimsuit to date.

West Virginia is making simply 37.6% of its pictures this season, which is final within the Huge 12 and ranks No. 333 within the nation.

To place that in a greater context, there are 64 groups within the nation with a greater 3-point taking pictures share than the Mountaineers shoot from the ground.

And Virginia will attempt to reap the benefits of that.

“Definitely, I wish to reap the benefits of the open ground,” Eilert mentioned. “If we are able to rating early, if not, then rating late. So, we’re making an attempt to determine how you can flip that web page and go to work.”


WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday
WHERE: Suncoast Credit score Union Enviornment, Fort Myers, Fla.
TV: FS1 (Comcast 271, HD 857; DirecTV 219; DISH 150)