VMI Vs. West Virginia: Mountaineers Defeat Keydets 82-66

The Mountaineers battle the VMI Keydets in the Charleston Coliseum.

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VMI Vs. West Virginia: Mountaineers Defeat Keydets Despite Missing Bryant, Jennings

  • Kevin Jones really doesn't have his touch.  Everything is rimming out for him.  The Mountaineers have to get this kid rolling as they get into the season.
  • Because I typed that, he came back and hit a big three from the top of the key.  VMI answers with their own. Mountaineer lead is seven.
  • The longer the Keydets hang around, the less and less I like this game.  The Mountaineers need someone to step up and get hot.  Jones would be nice, but right now, that's Casey Mitchell's job.
  • Joe Mazzulla is starting to push the basketball, but he's forcing it.  Not much is coming of it.
  • Glasgow hits a three, and the Mountaineers lead is only four.  Not panic time yet, but getting close.
  • Mitchell fakes a three and throws the lob to Jones.  He needed to bring itdown, but the 'Eers got the bucket.  Nice play.
  • Keydets seem to just be jacking up threes now.  Can't blame them though.
  • Another good look on a slip move to Jones.  Mountaineers back up ten, seem stabilized.
  • Jones now has eighteen, and has reached 50% from the field.  Good signs both.
  • JFlow!  What a block!  Back to back blocks on back to back trips.
  • West Virginia is doing a great job crashing the boards and forcing the Keydets into one and dones on the offensive end.  At the last official's timout, the Mountaineers still lead by ten.  Time to close this one out.
  • Flowers with a flagrant elbow, which is apparently the focus of the referees this season.  Makes sense, but Flowers' elbow looked pretty tame.
  • That's two technical fouls this game on the Mountaineers. Both seemingly for mental mistakes.
  • Mountaineer lead now at fifteen, with two minute left and the ball.  This game is pretty much over.
  • Kevin Jones with a big dunk.  Mountaineers with 82, their final points of the night.  VMI finishes with 66.

All in all a good win.  One that needed to happen like this.  It could've been prettier, but the message was sent to Truck Bryant, Danny Jennings and Dalton Pepper (who didn't get into the game until after walk-ons) that more effort is needed.  I love seeing Noreen pick up quality minutes and his hustle has to be liked. The offense sputtered and stalled most of the night, but that has to be attributed primarily to playing an entire half without a point guard.  This is a good early season win: get the victory, play decisively, but give Huggins plenty of ammunition to scream at the troops all week long. 

I'll be back with more thoughts tomorrow.  The Mountaineers play Wednesday at home versus American.

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VMI Vs. West Virginia: Mountaineers Out In Front Of Keydets In Sluggish Affair

  • Mountaineers take a few trips to regain their rhythm, and then Deniz Kilicli with a nice post move.  WVU still has the size advantage and will need to take advantage of it.
  • .....and Kilicli gets a Technical Foul for hanging on the rim.
  • Kevin Jones with another turnover under the basket.  This is becoming a habit.  And a bad one.  The Mountaineers will need these points.
  • Kieth Gabriel hits a deeeep three to cut the lead back to ten.
  • Jones misses a dunk.  A good metaphor for the Mountaineers' play so far.  Luckily Dalton Pepper is there to clean up the mess.
  • Kevin Noreen goes hard to the bucket off of one dribble for the and-one.  I'm starting to love the way this kid plays!
  • Keith Gabriel skies to the basketbal and gets fouled. Keydets now withing nine. This is not a pretty basketball game.  The points come in spurts, and both teams are generally disjointed.
  • Casey Mitchell hits the Mountaineers' first three of the night.  He follows it up getting beat on Defense. Oh well, his bucket was worth one more.
  • Keenen hits a big three for VMI, cutting the Mountaineer lead to seven.
  • Mitchell hits another.  Please get hot and put this one away...
  • Mazulla to the rack.  When the game degenerates it favors the Mountaineers.
  • Under twelve timeout: Mountaineers by ten.
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VMI Vs. West Virginia: Mountaineers Lead By 8 At The Half

  • The Mountaineers finally get a Casey Mitchell layup after breaking a tight press.  Lack of ball-handling is killing the Mountaineers otherwise.
  • WIth Joe Mazzulla on the bench with two fouls, Jonnie West seems to be the Mountaineers best option at the point.  It hasn't mattered much, as the forwards have all chipped in at turning the ball over.
  • Kevin Noreen's heading to the bench now, but he's a kid who is stepping up and doing his job right now.
  • Mitchell with another layup.  WVU seems to be focusing on running plays now, and they'll have to.  Without much guardplay, thery're not going to be able to improvise like they usually do.
  • Mitchell gets fouled at the buzzer and hits two of three. The Mountaineers will have to take points any way they can.  They seemed to find a bit of rhythm at the end of the half, to push their lead to 8.  Whether or not the return of Joe Mazzulla in the second half disrupts that remains to be seen.
  • At the Half: WVU 38, VMI 30
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VMI Vs. West Virginia: Mountaineers Struggling Without Jennings, Bryant

  • Kenny Ross's presence seems to indicate there's no Truck Bryant for the whole game.  That makes him our third string point guard.  Huh.  Who knew.  The announcers said he didn't even make the trip.  Bizarre.
  • Keith Gabriel is getting to the basket on the Mountaineer D.  Keydets currently only down one.
  • Jonnie West into the game.  I never thought I'd see a backcourt of West and Ross.
  • Jones finally knocks down a long jumper.  Glad to see his shooting touch back.
  • Craig Carey is in the game.  Wow, we're really reaching for guards tonight people.
  • The announcers have just said that Truck and Jennings have just arrived.  Did they miss the bus?
  • Kevin Noreen into the game and he hits his first shot. Gotta like that.
  • Cam Thoroughman makes a great move to the bucket.  With no real point guard play, WVU's going to need to find scoring in weird places.
  • This game is ugly... and tied.
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VMI Vs. West Virginia: Mountaineers Face Keydets In Charleston

West Virginia's Men's Basketball team is back from it's time in paradise, the owners of a 3-1 overall record.  Though Puerto Rico had it's moments, especially in a tight victory over Vanderbilt, there are still more questions than answers for this Mountaineer squad.  Whether or not Casey Mitchell can be a consistent scorer, or whether Kevin Jones can find his groove, chiefly among them.

The VMI Keydets will try and rain threes, and the Mountaineer guards will have their hands full. 

The Mountaineer offense will have to move the basketball to get good looks at the basket.

Here we go!

  • Truck Bryant not starting, not sure why.  Heard earlier today that he wasn't playing.  Not sure why.
  • Kilicli turnover right out of the gate.  It''s like this team never took any time off.
  • VMI likes to press. This will test Mountaineer ball-handlers.
  • Two consecutive trips to force the ball to Jones on the blocks.  That's the way to do this.
  • The announcers seemed to assert that the shooting background in Charleston is awkward.  The poor shooting on both sides seems to back them up.
  • Kenny Ross is already into the game to back-up Mazzulla.  What's going on here?  Is Ross from Charleston or something?  (He's not).
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