Point Guard Growth

After combining for seven turnovers in West Virginia's closer-than-it-needed-to-be 78-71 win over Oral Roberts, it might be strange to maintain that the duo played well -- but that's just the view we're taking.

Before the case it stated, it should be noted that neither Hinds nor Browne played a perfect game, or even an accomplished one. Both sturggled against the high intensity version of ORU's full court press, and both made some plays that drew the ire of Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins. However, the duo also showed some growth from WVU's exhibition game, and provided plenty of hope for a bright future.

First, the do both showed the ability to get West Virginia into its offensive sets. Each directed traffic when it was necessary, and moved the ball more effectively when it was reversed. Both drove the ball into the lane when chances presented themselves, and made good decisions on when to shoot the ball and when to pass it. Finally, both pushed the ball upcourt quickly and helped produce a handful of transition baskets, which proved to be critical down the stretch.

TO be sure, the duo aren't carbon copies of each other. Hinds is a little faster and quicker (although Browne is by no means slow). Browne has shown better defensive aptitude early on. The combination, however, has been effective, allowing Huggins to play Truck Bryant off the ball most of the time to take advantage of his shooting skills on the wing.

The growing process will likely be an uneven one. There will be periods when they don't play well. But overall, there's no reason to think that the Mountaineers aren't set for the next few seasons as this critical spot. It will take a while to get to the level Huggins is looking for, but that journey should be an enjoyable one.

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