Don't look now, but those freshman laden Mountaineers have won three in a row and five of the last six. The Mountaineers have struggled on the road in the Big East, but they pay a visit to a wounded St. John's squad that has lost six of it's last seven. Here's what to watch for when the ball is tipped in the Garden tonight:
- Gary Browne. Of all the freshmen, Browne plays the least like one. The diminutive guard has already hit two big end-game shots so far in his young career, including a three to force overtime against the Bearcats. When the going gets tough, Coach Bob Huggins brings Browne off the bench in place of fellow freshman Keaton Miles. This gives the Mountaineers three guards, all of whom are undersized, but all of whom can score the basketball. It seems that Browne is well on his way to being a crucial cog in the Mountaineer machine for a long time to come.
- Which Truck shows up? It's the same old song with senior guard Truck Bryant: will the good Truck come to play? Against Cincinnati Bryant shot a dismal 2-16 including a whopping 0-8 from three point range. The fact the Mountaineers defeated the Bearcats seems amazing when you look at stat lines like that. Since this squad struggles to score at times, it's very important for Truck to contribute points. When he doesn't, it's like the Mountaineers are playing with one hand tied behind their back.
- Kevin Jones. Ho-hum, twenty and ten. Mark it. Jones is in the middle of one of the most impressive single seasons ever tallied by a Mountaineer, leading the league in scoring and rebounding. What's more incredible is that he makes it look so easy, and does it so consistently, that it's hardly a surprise anymore.
- Schedule math. This one is important for the win loss column, considering it's followed by a trip to the Carrier Dome on Saturday. Despite having low expectations this season, Mountaineer fans have to be thrilled to see WVU in the top four in the Big East, and would like to see them stay there. Picking up wins against teams in the bottom half of the league is the way to do it, which is why it's crucial that the 'Eers handle the Johnnies tonight.