PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The Greentree Sportsplex, with only a net separating its basketball court from a gaggle of rugrats taking soccer lessons, is nothing like the gametime atmosphere of the WVU Coliseum.

But make no mistake, the knee-high kiddos weren’t the only group in training Monday night. Not when Mountaineers sophomores Eron Harris and Terry Henderson were experimenting at point guard for their teams on opening night of the Pittsburgh Pro-Am Summer League.

“It’s not my primary role, but if I had to do it, I’ll do anything to win,” said Henderson. “If that means playing point and taking over the game, I’m going to do it.”

Though Henderson displayed some takeover flashes—pouring in a team-high 18 points—his Oliverio Peppers squad crumpled in the final minute and turned a three-point lead into a 76-72 loss. Still, Henderson might recall opening night less for its result and more for his matchups against Pitt point guard James Robinson, who was among the final cuts last week from the USA U19 squad bound for Prague.

WVU’s point guard duties figure to be shared primarily by Juwan Staten and Gary Browne. But neither of them are participating in the summer league and, more importantly, neither has given defenses much cause to worry. (Browne shot only 32 percent last season while Staten finished at 37 percent, including 0-of-9 from 3-point range.)  Their other common shortcoming is that both are generously listed at 6-foot-1, whereas Henderson and Harris are 6-3 should Bob Huggins opt to deploy a longer lineup.

“If Huggs wants to put a big lineup, I’m probably going to have to bring the ball up a bit,” said Henderson, who averaged 8.0 points per game last season at WVU. “You never who we’ll play — they might press full court and require me to go get the ball and set up the offense.”

Harris actually seems more likely to become the big-lineup point guard. After emerging as the most encouraging factor from the Mountaineers’ 13-19 campaign, Harris beat his coaches to the punch by suggesting he should point guard.

“I kind of brought it to their attention myself, and they said, ‘We want you to take that initiative because we want to play big,’” Harris said. “I played some point guard in AAU, but at the college level, obviously, it’s a lot different. I’m working on becoming a real point guard.”

To that end, Harris said he needs to work on a rather obvious skill—his ballhandling—after being primarily a catch-and-shoot player as a freshman.

“I think I have the IQ and the vision,” he said. “I’ve just go to work on my handle.”

Though Harris scored 14 points in helping The Lair to an 87-86 victory, he was hounded by a familiar opponent—Duquesne point guard Derrick Colter. Last Dec. 11, the 5-foot-11 sophomore had 12 points and seven assists in the Dukes’ 60-56 comeback win over WVU.

“The guy that was guarding me tonight was half my size,” cracked Harris, “so I’ve got to keep working on staying low and keeping my guard on.”

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Comments

  • TruthTeller

    You people just don't get it. There are no real games anymore. The Elite pay off teams like WVU to lose. The Elite are controlling the out come of all the games so only the rich and bigger schools get all the benefits of winning. Since WVU moved to the Big 12 there will be no more BCS bowls. No more NCAA tournament trips. The Elite are paying all of these teams millions to lose and not to be a threat to the richer and bigger schools. That is how WVU can shoot the lights out against the smaller schools but can't make even a free throw against the richer and bigger schools.
    Am I the only one that sees what is going on?
    You sheeple need to wake up!!! All these games are fixed anymore. So that the rich and bigger can collect all the benefits including the best recruits. GAME OVER

  • tony

    tell you what... devin is a bad ass. he will start this year. he will start by 1st game

  • clair thompson

    Why oh why can't we just get along.

  • hivoltage

    RamblingMan (a.k.a. herd 9-1 or something is back at it with his meaningless pratter. How much more negative can he be???

  • RamblingMan

    UK is losing a 6'10" forward who can hit 3's. He has 2 years eligibility left. This guy can shoot, so that means Thuggins won't even kick the tires. I bet he goes to Michigan. I hear their coach likes outside shooters.

    • Mister

      What's his name?

      • RamblingMan

        Kyle Wiltjer.

      • RamblingMan

        He is a white guy, good student, good person, never been arrested, doesn't have a rap sheet, isn't a sex offender, isn't a theif, isn't a pot smoker, and doesn't beat a girlfriend. Therefore, Thuggins won't be interested in this guy.

  • richard

    i'll believe it when i see it.....MACON? DON'T COUNT ON IT.

  • Shawn

    These two kids will play at the same time. You'll hardly see Staten and Browne in at the same time because that would be a straight disaster.

    Your starting lineup for game 1 will be:

    Staten PG
    Harris SG
    Henderson SG
    Noreen F
    Aaric Murray F

    Devin Williams is game ready and he'll back up both Noreen and Murray. We still dont have a lot of depth this year so it will be a struggle at times. I think the 2014-2015 season will be their season.

    • Wemakerain

      I bet Macon and Williams start over Murray, the twittersphere says Macon made it and will be in town next week so I'm feeling positive

      • Shawn

        You're right they very well could. But i dont see that happening until a few games into the season.

  • Habib Haddad

    Did someone poop in your Wheaties, Larry? Such negativity so early on a beautiful summer day. The Mountaineers will be fine in football and basketball. We have a year of learning under our belt and now know what to expect from our conference mates. Remember two things Larry. Rome wasn't built in a day and if you want people to take you seriously, learn how to put a declarative sentence together. Have a nice day.

    • Big Larry

      Habib,

      I'm not offended by what you say. I'm just glad that you're stringing words into sentences now.

      Oh, One more thing...It's OK to let your children see you cry.

    • Mister

      Good post, Habib.

  • Big Larry

    Huggins with go with Staten & Browne who are "Street Players" and not shooters.

    Harris and Henderson will share time with the newcomers...That is if any of them qualify and show up...

    It is what it is...