West Virginia Basketball's Projected Lineup for the 2010-2011 Season
This will be a new look West Virginia basketball team that's vastly different from the one we saw go on a Final Four ride last season.
Gone is Da’Sean Butler, one of the best and most likable players the Mountaineers program has ever seen, as well as Devin Ebanks, a highly talented forward who just never quite seemed to put it all together while in Morgantown. Both were selected in this past NBA Draft.
Head coach Bob Huggins will have to replace three of the team’s top five scorers from a year ago, but he has another talented bunch that’s long on potential but short on big game bravado at this point.
This is a team that has the talent to contend for a Big East Championship, but it’s all about how they gel as a unit as the season unfolds.
Let’s take a look at what the starting lineup could possibly look like this season.
Point Guard: Truck Bryant
Bryant will likely battle it out with senior Joe Mazzulla for starting point guard duties, but in the end, it’s likely the two will split time at the position.
Truck offers the team a more athletic weapon at the point, who has the ability to drive into the lane and create off the dribble.
The only noticeable problem with Bryant is that his focus can wane at certain points during a game, which is something that obviously upsets Coach Huggins a great deal.
If Bryant can fine tune his mindset and make sure his focus remains sharp at all times, he can be one of the standout players in the Big East conference this year.
Shooting Guard: Casey Mitchell
Mitchell came to Morgantown as the reigning Junior College Player of the Year from his time spent at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida. It was there where he helped carry the Indians to a 69-4 combined record in two years, averaging 20 points per game.
When Casey gets into the groove offensively, he really has the ability to score and hurt the opposition in a variety of different ways. He can beat you from the perimeter or as a straight up jump shooter.
Mitchell only averaged 3.6 points a game last season as he slowly eased into the flow of things as a reserve bench player. But expect that total to increase substantially now that he has the opportunity to really get some key minutes on the floor.
Forward: Kevin Jones
There’s no doubt that West Virginia’s most valuable player this year will be forward Kevin Jones. The 6‘8" junior will be given the task of upping his game and being the go to player that Da’Sean Butler was for the team last season.
It’s a role that Jones should truly thrive in. Kevin is a smart player, who displays the leadership qualities needed to carry this team through the rough waters they’ll undoubtedly face at certain points in the season.
Jones, who averaged 13 points and seven rebounds a game last year, is a versatile player who has a solid inside-out game. He could be the real key to West Virginia's offensive success.
Forward: John Flowers
Senior John Flowers is an experienced veteran player who knows what Bob Huggins needs him to be for this West Virginia team.
Flowers is a long, athletic defender that can really pose match up problems on the defensive side of the ball. His job will mainly be to rebound and contest shots, but don’t doubt his offensive touch.
When Flowers gets involved offensively, he adds a diverse element that's tough to contain.
Forward: Deniz Kilicli
The big Turkish post player has been a fan favorite even before he stepped on the court for the Mountaineers.
After missing the first 20 games of his freshman season due to suspension, Kilicli stepped right in and became an instant difference maker.
Kilicli uses his size and bullish strength to his advantage down in the low post.
He displays a nice offensive game for a man his size, and his defensive prowess is also solid.
As he continues to refine his game and polish his technique, Kilicli should really come into his own and make a name for himself in the Big East.