And that seems the most obvious point to drive home, the Mountaineers having exited after one game each of the last five seasons. WVU hasn't won a conference postseason game since capturing the Big East championship in 2010 with a 60-58 final-second win over Georgetown, and the steady stream of one-and-dones has caused come consternation, and close media examination. Devin Williams, above, was asked about it. Both Jaysean Paige and Jevon Carter, below, were asked about it.
But this would appear to be a different team with far better match-ups. Unlike past losses to Baylor, to Texas - and to Texas Tech during a 13-19 inagural Big 12 season - when the Mountaineers had multiple difficiencies, this team seems primed for a solid run, both in Kansas City and the NCAA Tournament. Carter continues to improve as a point guard and played arguably his best game in the win at Baylor, totalling eight points and eight assists with three steals and zero turnovers. The depth has returned with Paige and Jonathan Holton, though the latter could be questionable for WVU's first game on Thursday because of an ankle sprain.
WVU is also getting far better production from Nate Adrian on both ends, and has a proven interior threat in Devin Williams. Add in the pressure-packed style, and the Mountaineers are a nightmare match-up in the NCAAs. But that't not the case in the Big 12, where any foe will have played them twice, which could make winning this tournament harder than reaching the Final Four. All three players talk about that aspect, and if West Virginia (24-7, 13-5) is starting to peak at just the right time, plaus the preparation and work done in Morgantown over the today and Tuesday before leaving for Kansas City Tuesday evening.
Paige, below, was honored with the league's Sixth Man Award while also being named to the Big 12 Second Team along with Williams. Carter, above, was named to the conference's All-Defensive Team.