West Virginia guard Jevon Carter hit his first shot attempt -- a 3-pointer. He followed moments later with another. When Tarik Phillip made it three-for-three atfour-four four after his second attempt of the game, it was clear TCU's zone defense wasn't going to be effective. WVU's four guards combined for ten threes, keeping the Mountaineers clear of a determined Horned Frog effort and giving them their first win in four years of play the in the Big 12 Championship.
Cater's game seemed to feed off his early shooting success. Although he did have a pair of turnovers, he moved the ball effectively and kept WVU's halfcourt offense flowing, along with backup Tarik Phillip. Carter's confidence has visibly blossomed recently, and it shows in his overall command of the offense. When his shot is going down, as it did during his 5-8 shooting performance on this night, he becomes a threat no matter what he is doing on the floor. Fifteen points, three assists and two steals made him one of the across the board standouts of the win.
Carter's improved shooting stems, at least in part, from a minor correction made to his shooting motion. He noted that he is keeping his elbow in more, returning to the form of his freshman season, and that has helped him become more consistent.
"When my elbow was going out, the ball was going different places" Cartersaidd after going 3-5 from beyond the arc. "Keep your elbow in and it's going to go straight and go in. I made [the change] right before the Texas Tech game and since then I feel like I have been shooting it a lot better."
In the video above, Carter also describes the way in which good shooting affects other parts of play.
"When we are hitting shots, it means a lot, but we're playing for a lot more than just one game," Jaysean Paige said, keeping his eyes on bigger prizes than just a first-ever win for West Virginia in the Big 12 Championship. "It was on our mind a little bit before the game, but one game isn't enough."
Paige was consistent throughout his interview, noting that the "rings and banners" mantra, denoting a Big 12 title, and perhaps more, is what is motivating the team right now. He also discussed watching games that will determine WVU's upcoming foes, and how he likes them more as a basketball fan in general than as a rooting participant.