Week's Results Provide Object Lesson

The results of West Virginia's basketball games last week, and of those involving Mountaineer foes, are object lessons in the "anybody can beat anybody" school of thought.

After a week in which his team defeated St. Louis and Maryland, head coach John Beilein was pleased with his team's improvement, but was also happy with the games those vanquished foes played the next time out.

The Billikens dropped a heartbreaker to Arizona, while Maryland toppled #1 ranked Florida.

"Nothing surprises me after I saw the St. Louis and Arizona score," Beilein said of the Maryland upset. "I talked to our team about that after practice. We just showed we can play with very good basketball teams that may have more experience or more tradition than us, but we can beat anyone."

On the whole, Beilien was upbeat about last week's 2-1 mark, noting that the Mountaineers improved during that span, something that wasn't the case during the last week of November.

"Even though we were 2-1, we beat a good St. Louis team and then travelled to D.C. and played teams in a bit of a hostile environment. We beat Maryland, and we made some major steps to get better.

"We took some steps backward the first week, but we seem to have recognition now on what it takes to win games. We have a better appreciation on what it takes to beat teams like Maryland, St. Louis and George Washington. Those are as good as some of the teams we'll see in the Big East this year, so it was a good 2-1 week for us."

Beilein is working practice sessions around final exams, in order to prepare his team for Duquesne, which has won four of the last five games against the Mountaineers.

"I've watched several of their games, and they look like they have found some chemistry. I know I may overuse that word, but I know how important that is, to have everyone working together. They are playing well together right now."

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