Monday, March 5, 2012

Evaluating The Players

It's been a long, frustrating year for the Men's basketball team. I guess that's to be expected when Bob Huggins has to rely on so many new players. And the kids did pretty times. The Mountaineers did manage to get to .500 in Big East play, and seem to have snuck into a Tournament birth (I'll feel a lot better with at least one win in New York). So, before March gets Mad, let's evaluate everybody's contribution this year.

Kevin Jones, F, SR: What can be said that hasn't already? Jones led the Big East in both scoring (19) and rebounding (11). He was named to the Big East First Team, and may end up being Player of the Year. This is quite a story for a player who seemed out of place as a leader in his last season. Jones was such a pleasure to watch this year, as he completely took over...and really had to take take over. Without Jones, WVU would be lucky to make the NIT.

Darryl "Truck" Bryant, G, SR: Truck had a solid final season in Morgantown. The most polarizing player possibly in WVU history hit a lot of big shots and played very good defense throughout the year. He was the most consistent shooter for a team that struggled to score. He also played much better off the ball. Granted, he did lead the team in turnovers, but also led the team in clutch shots.

Deniz Kilicli, F, JR: The "Turk" had an inconsistent season. His rebounding was adequate, not great. His scoring was solid at times, though had the propensity to disappear. And, I'm not sure there is another player in the nation that missed more four-footers than Kilicli. His free-throw shooting still needs a lot of work...well, really his whole game still needs work. The numbers did improve from last season, but still needs more consistency.

Kevin Noreen, F, r-FR: Another tough season for Noreen, whose season was cut short due to injury. Seemed to be turning into the new Cam Thoroughman...just a big annoyance for other teams. He can take a charge, foul hard, and make a fantastic pass. Struggled shooting, but that's not his game. Hoping he can come back next year and finally stay healthy.

Jabarie Hinds, G, FR: Truly a learning experience for Hinds. I can't even imagine playing PG as a freshman in the Big East, and Hinds battled throughout. He led the team in assists and steals, though both numbers slowed down throughout the year. His defensive intensity needs to improve, especially when adverse conditions set in. Hinds also needs to stay focused. Certainly a learning experience, but a lot of promise with this kid.

Gary Browne, G, FR: The other Frosh PG was all over the map this year. He hit a few huge 3-pointers, showed us that he can get to the hoop, and has a great compete level. Though, like Hinds, needs some work. Browne was simply careless with the ball too much this season, and needs to improve his shooting. What did improve was his defense and foul shooting. And, his leadership was very solid for someone in their first year. It will be fun to watch Browne mature.

Aaron Brown, G, FR: I think it's safe to say that the legs just got tired. Brown, who is one of WVU's best shooters really hit a wall late. Yet, he still shot over 40% from 3-point land. Brown needs to work on his defense if he wants to stay on the floor, as well as creating his own shot. Another freshman with plenty of promise, though.

Keaton Miles, F, FR: He started nearly every game, though only averaged marginal minutes. The reason he started? Defense, defense, defense. Why the low minutes? Offense, offense, offense. An outstanding defender, who simply needs to improve offensively to stay on the court. He did look more comfortable late in the season, but only shot 33%. He is also very shaky from the free-throw line. He is an athletic specimen, who could turn into a nice specialist for this program.

Dominique Rutledge, F, JR: The transfer really improved throughout the year. Rutledge couldn't even get on the court early-on, now looks very strong in his reserve roll. He has good rebounding skills, and is deceptively quick with the ball. He certainly needs to work on being a more consistent basketball player, and tends to get a head of himself. Should contribute the rest of this year, and could fill a nice roll in 2013.

Paul Williamson, Tommy McCune, Pat Forsythe: None played enough or healthy enough to make a serious contribution this season.

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