Beilein Sees Down to the Wire Contests

Head basketball coach John Beilein foresees a string of games just like many the Mountaineers have played so far this year.

"Just about every game we play the rest of the way is going to be a last second thing," Beilein noted as the Mountaineers prepared to play Providence on Saturday. "If we shoot the ball well, we can play with anybody."

Good shooting couldn't overcome WVU's sloppy play and some unexpected shooting prowess from Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, when the Hokies grabbed a two-point upset.

"[Wednesday] night was a tough one," Beilein noted. "Virginia Tech played a great game and made a bunch of tough shots. We had a few fumbles and bumbles that lead to easy baskets for them down the stretch, and that was the difference in the game."

Despite that outcome, Beilein's analysis is usually correct. When the Mountaineers are on the north side of 50% shooting from the field, they are usually right in any contest and will win their share. However, when WVU's young team isn't finding the range, especially from three-point distance, then problems usually ensue.

After dropping a game they had to be counting on as a win, WVU must now grab an unexpected victory, perhaps from a team on the road. Getting that victory against the Friars will be a tough order, however, as they have strong inside presence that will again test the undersized West Virginia front line.

The Friars are coming off a two game road trip where they split with Rutgers and Seton Hall, and only a pair of miracle three-pointers by the Scarlet Knights kept the Rhode Islanders from going 2-0 on that road trip.

"Whe you win on the road in the Big East, you have some good things going, and Providence has done that," Beilein said as he looked forward to the rare Saturday evening game. "Anyone who can win on the road in this league and hold your own at home, you are going to the NCAA tournament. That's how key it is."


Beilein continues to focus on the long view of the season despite the disappointing loss on Wednesday.

"I keep telling everyon, it's a marathon. You just take this one game, and learn from it. It's not the end of the world. Unlike football, we don't have to wait a whole week to play. We have about two or three days to get ready to play another game. You have to just learn from it and just put it behind you."

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"Our basketball IQ is something we continue to work on," Beilein said of the items they continue to emphasize as the conference season unfolds. "We are working on understanding our new positions and finding out what we have to do in scoring points. It won't be tomorrow, but little by little we can improve it. If we can shoot the ball we can hang with people."

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