Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Comment on the Mountaineers Historic Night

On Monday, West Virginia forced Manhattan into 40 turnovers... yes, once per minute, a confused Jasper was making a poor decision to lead to points the other way.  Numerous folks were quick to laud Bob Huggins and his players for the accomplishment and what this performance could mean for them going forward.

Well, probably nothing.  23 minutes was the most minutes any player logged, which means that no singular player is responsible for the disruption Monday night.

The argument against this assertion is that they also forced 34 against New Hampshire, 26 against Mississippi Valley State, and 21 against Mount Saint Mary's.  While I like New Hampshire in a weak America East this year, that is a slate of crap to pray on at home.  They did a good job splitting their games over the break (blowing out Illinois isn't THAT impressive this year, and losing to Temple, eh?), but the real test will be this weekend in Charlottesville.  Without the benefit of home court whistles getting swallowed, my guess is that their insane 35% turnover per possession rate begins to regress toward the mean.  Right now, the Mountaineers shooting defense is just average and has relied on pure pressure and benefit of the doubt from officials.  A stronger team like UVA will not put themselves in those situations, and if they do, their is a good chance the whistle will bail them out.

I still like West Virginia for a high seed and are legitimately the second best team in the Big 12, but they have a lot of room for improvement.  The turnover rate is more indicative of the quality of opponent.

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