Takeaways from Friday's Gold-Blue Debut

Every year, people always take things like West Virginia's Gold-Blue Debut a little more seriously than they should.

It is what it is: An opportunity to draw some excitement for the basketball season to come by giving fans a chance to show up at the Coliseum and get to watch the Mountaineers have some fun, and scrimmage around with each other for a little while.

There's nothing wrong with that at all. It usually has a few bright spots, and even if the players aren't playing the way they would in a real game and you don't get to see what West Virginia's best five looks like playing together, it's nice to have that and whet the palette a bit to gear up for the season to start in a few weeks. Anyone showing up to something hoping to leave knowing exactly what the starting five is going to be or exactly which players will be integral parts of the team will leave a little disappointed.

But you can see some things by watching, and Friday's Gold-Blue Debut was no different.

Like most people probably did, I showed up to the Coliseum eager to see what WVU's newcomers would look like and to see some of the things they could do. While you won't leave with a clear understanding of how good this team can be, you can learn a little bit about what the Mountaineers could have at certain spots.

And after Friday, it looks as if the Mountaineers have some talent to work with if it wants to keep improving.

Of course, not everyone played their best games. Juwan Staten did not attempt a single shot from the field and with the way the teams were split up, it was tough to get a true understanding of the type of chemistry West Virginia's best players will have when they get to play on the same floor.

We did get to see those newcomers though, and get a look at what they could provide. The junior college transfers - Tarik Phillip, Jaysean Paige and BillyDee Williams - all put on pretty good shows in their debut to WVU fans. We already have a good feeling of the types of players they'll be: Phillip a long, defensive-minded player who can impact the game on that end of the floor, Paige is a lights-out shooter who will likely compete with Phillip for that second guard spot alongside of Staten, and Williams is an athletic kid who is able to use his versatility to potentially make an impact.

The two freshmen also stepped up and played well. Jevon Carter scored eight points and had an assists, but the biggest thing he showed was that he was able to get into the passing lanes and make a few steals. Daxter Miles hit a couple shots from beyond the arc and had 10 points.

While it was nice to see what we saw, it wasn't anything that was necessarily new. We had heard about how the team has been practicing and what Huggins was seeing from the players he has. And for the most part, they did just that.

But it's one thing to see what they did tonight. It will be the next few times we get to watch this Mountaineer that will allow things to become a little clearer as to what type of team this will really be.

Right now, it's hard to say if this will be a great defensive team or if it will be a group that will be better off starting three guards or going bigger. What we know right now is that West Virginia has a great leader in Juwan Staten. It has a solid big man in Devin Williams, and potentially to newcomers who can make an impact in Jonathan Holton and Elijah Macon. Aside from that, we don't really know how things are going to turn out, especially after Friday.

Hopefully, the one thing it did was get people in the mood for basketball season to start - which is exactly what it was meant to do. And for the most part, the Gold-Blue Debut did a good job of kicking the season off.


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