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Top Ten Moments Of The West Virginia Basketball Season

A look back at the top 10 moments of the 2010-11 West Virginia Mountaineer basketball season.

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10. Casey goes for 30. The Mountaineers squeaked past the Vanderbilt Commodores early in the year in Puerto Rico when no one knew what the future held.  Casey Mitchell dropped in 31 points to kick off a torrid four-game tear which saw the senior eclipse 25 each time. Unfortunately, that was an anomaly and Mitchell rarely scored with that kind of ease the rest of the season.

9. The short squad runs past the Bearcats. Huggins returned to his old stomping grounds fresh off Casey Mitchell's second suspension and Danny Jennings' dismissal from the squad. The ‘Eers only played seven guys, but controlled the entire game behind the steady trio of Kevin Jones, John Flowers and Joe Mazzulla. Mazzulla turned in a trademark performance, going for 16 points, 8 boards and 7 assists. The nucleus that played that night would get the bulk of the minutes the rest of the year.

8. Casey hits seven threes. It was mid-February, and it came in a loss on the road to Syracuse, but Mitchell's single best shooting night still warrants an inclusion. Not a lot of Mountaineers have ever hit seven threes in a game, and Mitchell is now in rarefied air. It was too little, too late that night, and was for the season at large.

7. Cam lights it up! Running over Seton Hall at home midseason may not seem like much to cluck about, but Cam Thoroughman hit double-digit scoring that night for the only time in his career. His inclusion on this list is as much a tribute to what an integral cog he was all season by setting picks, passing the basketball, and generally giving the Mountaineers heady play.

6. The tide turns in Washington, DC. The Mountaineers were slumping and playing inconsistent basketball as they began Big East play. The ship was righted in a morning game against the Hoyas in Verizon Center that saw the Mountaineers grit their way to an all-out team victory. Austin Freeman was no match for John Flowers, and the Hoyas never got into an offensive rhythm all day long.

5. Dalton picks pockets.The Mountaineers were gritting their way through another tense basketball game in the first round of this year's tournament when they needed a spark. They got that spark from sophomore Dalton Pepper who stole the ball on three consecutive possessions to seal the deal. Pepper hadn't played the top of the 1-3-1 before, but I imagine we'll see more of it next season.

4.  Mountaineers whip Huskies. Before Kemba Walker led the UConn Huskies on amazing runs to both the Big East and NCAA Championships, he led them into Morgantown on a slump. Here, they were turned away by a concerted tandem of Joe Mazzulla and Kevin Jones who played a two-man ball game with aplomb. Kemba couldn't buy a bucket, and the Huskies were muzzled.

3. The long arms of JFlow. While not an individual moment, per se, the impact John Flowers had on this Mountaineer season cannot be understated. From the moment he swatted seven shots in the home opener, Flowers sent the message that he was a defensive force to be reckoned with. He turned in more than a few astounding defensive efforts this season, locking horns with Austin Freeman, E'Twaun Moore, Norris Cole and other dynamic scorers.

2. West Virginia stymies Boilermakers. Last season's lowest point came on the road at Purdue on New Year's Day when the ‘Eers just got dismantled. This season, the Boilermakers came to Morgantown and met a whole different team. This time, the Mountaineers had four guys in double figures and Joe Mazzulla and John Flowers turned in two inspired defensive performances as the Boilermakers were held at arm's length all game long. On national television, the Mountaineers gave their best performance of the season.

1. Last-second heroics against Louisville. There was no better moment for the Mountaineers this season than senior day in Morgantown. A pair of Casey Mitchell threes and a pair of ill-advised fouls had this one on a see-saw in the last minute, but the Mountaineers prevailed , 72-70. While this one will be remembered for its late game drama, it also featured two of the season's best performances by Mountaineer forwards Kevin Jones and John Flowers. Jones hauled in 16 boards for his fourth double double in five games, while Flowers pulled in 12 points, 12 boards and a whopping six blocks. It might have been the best  performance ever by an outgoing Mountaineer senior on senior day.

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