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Mountaineers Face UNC-Pembroke In Preseason Exhibition

Ahhhhhh ... WVU basketball.  It's a great thing to think about in light of how disappointing this football season has been so far.  The hoopsters, well, when we last saw them they were competing on college basketball's biggest stage and that sure was nice.

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Tonight the 'Eer hoops team takes the floor for its only preseason exhibition against UNC Pembroke. I'd tell you what their mascot is, but honestly, I don't know and don't really care. I'm pretty staunchly against "games that don't count."

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There's nothing much to see in an exhibition.  We know what to expect out of our first seven guys, and if there are any questions there, they won't be answered against UNC Periwinkle Pembroke.  I'll be mainly paying attention to two things:  the backcourt rotation and our deep bench.

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In the backcourt, I expect Truck Bryant and Joe Mazzula to start, and Casey Mitchell and Dalton Pepper to play significant minutes off of the bench. I think while Bryant and Mazzula start together, the rotation will typically feature one of them and one of the other two.  Playing Pepper and Mitchell at the same time would leave the Mountaineers unable to handle the ball.  The only other question about the backcourt will be if Jonnie West can get real minutes and if Noah Cottrill will ever see the court. Cottrill, last year's state player of the year, is currently suspended and whether or not he ever suits up for the Mountaineers appears to be in jeopardy.

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The other thing I'll be watching for is the deep bench. I'd like to see freshman Kevin Noreen get some minutes to see if we can expect to see him get into some real games this season. Noreen, however, may be a work in progress and destined to redshirt. Other than that, Huggs has stocked the bench with West Virginia born practice players like Jake Fergusan and Craig Carey and I'd like to see them get some hometown love.

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As for the rest of the team, let's not twist an ankle, okay?

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.