To The Point

With the absence of Drew Schifino from the Mountaineer lineup against Georgetown, some changes in personnel and positions were to be expected. However, one move caught most observers by surprise.

Several of the changes,such as Tyrone Sally at the three position and Joe Herber getting some additional time inside, weren't much of a shock. However, at one point during the first half, many fans did a double take when Tyler Relph appeared at the scorers table to check in, but Jarmon Durisseau-Collins did not check out.

That move put both of West Virginia's point guards on the floor at the same time for the first time this year, and, as might be expected, there were a few foul-ups in execution.

"There are some adjustments we have to make," Durisseau-Collins said after WVU's win over the Hoyas. "For example, on one play I'm used to coming up and getting the ball from D'or, but I wasn't playing that spot at that time. I came up and got the ball anyway, and it kind of messed up that play."

That play was symptomatic of West Virginia's first half offensive woes, when the Mountaineers looked disjointed on offense and scored only 22 points. Durisseau-Collins noted that WVU's offensive struggles were partly caused by players at new positions, but also sees the positive side of the moves, especially on the offensive end.

"It was kind of difficult at first, but with both of us in I don't have to worry about going back and getting the ball from the other big guard and bringing it up. It just makes my life easier," the sophomore guard noted.

"It's really like the same positon," the Texas native continued as he compared the one and two positions." We're both at the top, and we both cut through a lot. For the most part, Tyler will be at the two and I'll be the main guard bringing it up, but if he gets it I'll just run on up because I know he can handle it as well."

Of course, with the positives of such moves, possible drawbacks are also found. In this case, it's on the defensive end, where a lineup of Relph and Durisseau-Collins will be giving up a good deal of height, especially at the two guard spot. Durisseau-Collins, an excellent defender, will likely draw the bigger, more physical guard in man to man situations, where WVU could get by with the alignment. A bigger problem will be when the Mountaineers go to their 1-3-1 defense, which has only one spot (the baseline defender) for a point guard.

Even with those potential problems, expect to see the two point pairing in the future, especially against teams that trap and pressure the ball.

"Georgetown was so quick we had to try that," head coach John Beilein said of the Tyler-JDC pairing. "Joe Herber and Pat Beilein are bigger guys, but not as quick as Tyler and Jarmon. We're going to mess with that (lineup) a little bit, and work at it. When we're playing a high-pressure team, we have to be able to adjust to that."

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