MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jaysean Paige has made one start this season. Considering the nitrous bench-boost he provides West Virginia almost nightly, Paige might not make another.
While it’s unconventional for a team’s best offensive player to spend the first 3 minutes in warmups, the starting five has become essentially a ceremonial issue for West Virginia. Don’t get hung up on it. Whereas most times the starters give an indication of the best five players and who’ll see the most minutes, that’s not the case with Bob Huggins’ 33rd team. (Just like it wasn’t true of some of his earlier squads at Cincinnati.)
But can Paige, as a backup, earn a spot on the All-Big 12 team? And back in October did you think this would be an actual question?
He made a Big Monday statement by dropping 34 on Iowa State, giving him 57 in two win overs the Cyclones. There was his 26 against soon-to-be-champion Kansas as well. In fact, while Paige stands only seventh in Big 12 scoring overall (14.2), he’s actually fourth (16.5) in league action.
No doubt Paige will be the Big 12’s sixth man of the year, but denting the first-team unit is unlikely. Who does he supplant out of Buddy Hield, Georges Niang, Perry Ellis, Monte Morris and Isaiah Taylor?
At least when coaches confer on this next week, Paige should get Steve Prohm’s vote.
On the Gold & Blue Lunch Report, we also discuss the ceiling for West Virginia’s NCAA seeding and suppose whether the Mountaineers could run into another Big 12 team in March Madness.