'23 Percent?'

About two hours prior to games this year, West Virginia senior guard Truck Bryant heads out to the court and makes 100 shots.

He hits jumpers from all over the court with assistant coach Jerrod Calhoun as the rebounder. It doesn't matter how many shots it takes, Bryant counts to 100. He shoots threes, jumpers, floaters and layups – just about every shot in basketball.

Bryant joked following the Mountaineers' 77-66 victory over Miami on Saturday that he took a gander at his 3-point shooting percentage a while back and scratched his head a bit.

"I said, '23 percent?'" he recalled. "I needed this, because my 3-point percentage was terrible.

"I'm a shot maker. I just make shots, and that's something that I haven't been doing from the 3-point line."

Starting out the season prior to the Miami game, Bryant hadn't made more than two 3-pointers in a game – that was a seven-game stretch. The shooting drought is fairly common in Bryant's career. He had a stretch of 13 games from Jan. 4 and Feb. 14 in 2011 where Bryant didn't make more than two 3-pointers in a game.

He's trying to make sure that doesn't happen in the 2011-12 season, though.

Against Miami, he was 5-of-7 while scoring a career-high 27 points in the win.

"He's getting back to being Truck, and that's being aggressive, getting to the rim and having confidence in his shot," said senior forward Kevin Jones. "Before, you could see that he was kind of hesitant. I just told him to relax and not force anything, because, at the end of the day, the offense is going through us."

Bryant was the first player since former guard Casey Mitchell to score at least five 3-pointers (Feb. 14, 2011). The only players to do so in the Bob Huggins era at WVU is Bryant, Mitchell, Da'Sean Butler, Wellington Smith, Alex Ruoff and Darris Nichols.

"I just feel more comfortable. (My teammates) found me in spots where sometimes they may miss me. I think they did a great job of finding me," Bryant said.

Bryant admits that pre-game ritual is something he would've never attempted in his earlier years.

This is his last chance, though, at the collegiate level.

"As a younger player, you just want to focus on the game, and you're so worried about getting tired," Bryant said. "Honestly, I don't even get tired anymore."

Bryant has been one of those players in his career to take a lot of flak from the coaching staff and from fans. He has deserved some of that criticism for sure.

By working on his game, he is taking control of his situation. As a senior, that's something to commend. It's something that will help the Mountaineers down the road, too.

If there's one player that is the biggest key to the season, it's Bryant.

He has been inconsistent in the past, so that's the thing he must focus in on.

Right now, he's making 100 shots before each game – he's giving 100 percent for his team.

As a senior, that's all West Virginia fans can ask for.

And from the looks of it, his new pre-game plan and attitude is working.


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