This West Virginia team finally hit the wall yesterday and wasn’t able to hit the big shots it needed to pull out a high scoring victory. Miles McBride has been asked to be the main source of those shots late in games and his jumpshot was a little off yesterday. I thought that I would love watching a team that can score a bunch of points compared to the WVU teams of old that lived off of defense and played a completely different sport on the offensive end. But the defensive holes in this team leave me at the same conclusion; they won’t be able to win in March. Huggins has to make a decision in games whether he wants to go with guys that can keep guards in front of them or ones that can constantly hit shots on the other end. Deuce is the only one of the group that seems to be able to do it on both ends. McCabe hasn’t shown that he can handle when teams like Florida get up in his face and make him go by them. Jalen Bridges also seemed to struggle with the pressure and athleticism the Gators showed. At the end of the day, this team has to find a way to slow people down to win more games.
Miles McBride – Deuce had possibly his worst game of the season. He shot 3-15 from the field and 0-6 from 3. He did do a great job of recognizing his struggles and getting other players involved with 9 assists. One area he has to do a better job in is knowing when and when not to foul. They need him on the floor as close to 40 minutes as possible.
9 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds
Jordan McCabe – McCabe was outmatched with the athleticism in this game. Florida doesn’t play great defense but they’re physical. Pair that with his inability to keep guys in front of him means 16 minutes may have been too many for this one. He’ll have his chances against other teams but Johnson should see more minutes in certain situations.
1 points, 3 assist, 2 rebound
Taz Sherman – It is tough to place a grade on Taz. He got 11 points, his sixth straight game in double figures. But he is one of the biggest liabilities on defense. he has the quickness to stay in front of people but just has bad instincts. He played the third most minutes in this game and is a big factor that lead to the 85 points given up. I don’t know where else to turn. This might be a tradeoff that you have to just live with.
11 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound
Jalen Bridges – Bridges admitted on Twitter that he had a bad game and wouldn’t let it happen again. He still is a good defensive player but he’s been forced into a four position instead of the three. Against a team like Florida, they picked on him down low. He is still a great freshman. Don’t give him too hard of a time.
0 points, 0 assists, 3 rebounds
Derek Culver – I know I’m going to get ripped here. I said it on Twitter but I was very dissapointed in Culver. This is a trend that I’ve seen ever since Tshiebwe left and Cottrell went down with the injury. Culver can’t play big minutes because he gets tired from taking a beating down low. That turns into very lazy possessions on the defensive end where he isn’t trying to grab rebounds and gives up very lazy fouls. He played a great game, seems to have fixed the problem with his free throw, and really is the reason West Virginia had a chance in this game. But I can’t be the one beating the drum on how bad this team is defensively without calling out Culver as well.
28 points, 0 assist, 12 rebounds
Sean McNeil – McNeil was one of the few players hitting shots yesterday. He ends up with 21 points, second most for him on the season. But he needs to keep with what works. After a few made shots, he wants to take a heat check as soon as he touches it. A shot that is a few feet behind the arc with 20 seconds left on the shot clock is not a good shot in a close game. This team has to work to get the best shot on every possession. He also has his third straight game without a rebound.
21 points, 0 assist, 0 rebound
Emmitt Matthews – Emmitt looked ok and made a few shots in his twelve minutes. He’s still working his way back and played the least amount of minutes of anybody that got in the game. He gets another pass but hopefully he can get back to full health soon.
5 points, 1 assist, 1 rebounds
Gabe Osabuohien – I said it last game but Gabe hasn’t quite looked like himself. The fast pace of the game gets to him. He’s being asked to play big minutes as the only other big besides Culver but it is taking a toll on his stellar defense.
0 points, 3 assist, 5 rebound
Kedrian Johnson – I think Johnson needs to be in the starting lineup and play big minutes beside McBride. He is the only other guard that can stick with anybody. They need to find whatever is going to help them keep teams in the 70’s to try and have a better chance at winning. He’s shown that he can contribute a little bit on the offensive end so I don’t see any reason why he hasn’t earned more minutes.
5 points, 0 assist, 1 rebound