Mountaineer basketball fans haven't had long to catch their breath since Thursday night's thrilling double OT win at Kansas State. Forty eight hours later, the Miami Hurricanes enter the Coliseum and WVU tries to pick up two quality non-conference wins in a row. Here's what I'm watching:
- Kevin Jones do work. Simply put, Jones has been awesome this season. His game tying three pointer at the end of regulation was just the cherry on top of a great performance against KSU. It appears Jones is blossoming into the player many hoped he could be. If the Mountaineers need a bucket, it's going to be Jones that gives it to them. His work on the glass has been a thing of beauty, even when he doesn't get the rebound he keeps it alive for teammates. This Mountaineer squad will go exactly as far as Jones will take them this season.
- Can the guards hang on to the ball? Freshmen point guards Jabarie Hinds and Gary Browne had serious issues turning the ball over against K State, something that can't continue if the Mountaineers are to be successful. Both try to over do things at times and let the game get away from them. If they can play composed basketball, points will start to come easier for the Mountaineers. Hinds in particular has the ability to get the ball to the basket when he plays under control. He also has the tendency to kick it out of bounds when he doesn't.
- Can the Turk hold it together? The Mountaineers need Deniz Kilicli to be a player this season, not a project. So far, he's been a little of both. He spent the entire first half against Kansas State in foul trouble, but came out with guns blazing in the second half scoring ten quick points. He followed up that dominance with a stretch where he turned the ball over three times and nearly cost the Mountaineers the ballgame. His offensive abilities are blatantly obvious to any who care to look, but the rest of his game has serious issues. The Turk needs to hold things together and play consistently, or Huggins will be forced to shuffle freshmen in and out of his spot. That can only lead to disaster.