WVU-Syracuse Basketball: Mountaineers Headed Backward Fast

Frank AhrensSenior Writer IFebruary 4, 2009

WVU’s performance in a 74-61 loss at Syracuse Wednesday night on ESPN was so poor in so many ways, it defies description in paragraph style. Instead, we will address it in bullet points:

  • WVU made the 2-3 zone defense look like the most exotic, effective defense ever devised. It’s not like it’s not the first defense you see on the playground when you’re a kid and the one you face most of your life.

    Still, for WVU tonight, the Mountaineers looked liked they were seeing John Beilein’s 1-3-1 for the first time. Or any defense for the first time, for that matter. Syracuse made the defense as wide as the court and somehow seemed to pack the middle at the same time.
  • WVU can’t shoot. The team shot 36 percent overall last night and 26 percent from three-point range. For the season, WVU is shooting 43 percent, good for 12th place in the 16-team Big East. The only thing worse than the bricks were the air balls.
  • Evidently, WVU can’t play defense or rebound, either. Syracuse shot 47 percent last night and outrebounded WVU 40 to 30.
  • WVU has 1.5 players. That’s it. Da’Sean Butler is a player. Sometimes, Alex Ruoff is a player. Devin Ebanks could become a player. Tonight, that was it.
  • I’m not sure Truck Bryant can play at this level. He disappears for minutes at a time, both when he’s on the court and on Bob Huggins’s bench because of his poor play on the court.
  • Unclear to me why Cam Thoroughman still has a scholarship playing basketball, because he can’t. He should learn how to skate and be a hockey goon.
  • Beilein must have recruited Wellington Smith for a different offense, because he has no impact in this one. He is averaging 5.7 points per game His point total for the past 10 games is 4, 0, 2, 3, 10, 3, 4, 6, 9, 3.
  • Admittedly, Syracuse can pass expertly in the paint, but WVU seemed to forget the concept of “weak-side help.”
  • I now have a Big East player I despise more than that really good and really annoying little fat man, Pitt’s Levance Fields. It’s Syracuse’s Eric Devendorf, who apparently is physically incapable of missing a layup.

    I’m all for good sportsmanship, but when WVU was down by 18 or so late in the second half and that tattooed House-of-Pain-wannabe brought the ball up, dribbled between his legs, and made a three-point shot, I really wished someone would have punched him in the nose.

    Preferably Thoroughman, so he’d get ejected.

    At least Devendorf is an upstanding citizen. Oh, wait. He’s the guy who hit that Syracuse student? That female Syracuse student? In the face?