Mountaineers aim to keep rolling against winless Stetson

Averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds through two games, Devin Williams could be in for a big performance against undersized Stetson on Friday night.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Friday night’s game against Stetson in a prelim to the Las Vegas Invitational may have the makings of a blowout, but West Virginia coach Bob Huggins insists his team has a list of “things to get cleaned up” after a 2-0 start.

Like 29-percent 3-point shooting, which leaves the Mountaineers susceptible to scoring droughts. Then there’s the tendency for the ball to become stuck with the point guards in the halfcourt offense as Jevon Carter, Tarik Phillip and Dax Miles learn the position.

Huggins also would prefer more inside touches for Devin Williams, who has made 11-of-17 shots while averaging 18.5 points.

“With 10 guys running around out there you can’t have one guy in the wrong place,” Huggins said. “We’ve had some guys who kind of went the wrong direction and got in the way.”

Routed by Richmond 108-85 in the opener, Stetson (0-2) blew a 10-point second-half lead and lost on two late free throws at The Citadel 94-93. Not much is expected from the Hatters, who were picked last in the eight-team Atlantic Sun Conference and can’t participate in the NCAA tournament because of a sagging APR.

“You can’t take anybody for granted,” Huggins said. “You’ve got to go play the game, (especially) the way we have a tendency sometimes to not make shots.”

Tipoff: 7 p.m. in Morgantown (Root)

WVU trends: Carter has only a 9-to-7 assist-to-turnover ration but scores a team-high 21.5 points per game. … Between Williams and Holton, the Mountaineers have two guys averaging double-doubles and they’re out rebounding opponents 44.5-28.5. … Freshman forward Esa Ahmad’s two starts haven’t looked like breakout games—he’s just 2-of-11 shooting—but he has seven assists and zero turnovers.

Scouting Stetson: Five players score in double figures, led by 5-11 guard Divine Myles. The Hatters frequently use four guards in the rotation. … There’s a lengthy shooting streak at play, with the Hatters making a 3-pointer in 347 consecutive games. “They score the ball,” Huggins said. “They’re young but they’re really good in transition.” … 6-foot-7 forward Brian Pegg (12.5 points, 13.5 rebounds) could have trouble getting to balls against Williams and Holton. … Stetson coach Corey Williams played point guard on back-to-back Sweet 16 teams at Oklahoma State in 1991 and 1992 before becoming a second-round pick of the Chicago Bulls and earning an NBA championship ring in ’93. He was such a talented athlete the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs spent a 12th-round pick on him though Williams had not played football since middle school.

Free-throw discrepancy: While West Virginia has attempted 76 free throws in two games, the Hatters have shot only 23.

Prediction: West Virginia 105-76





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