Mountaineers Hope to Contain Barrett

Wednesday night, the Mountaineers return home for the first time in nearly two weeks for a 7:00 game against Louis Orr's Seton Hall Pirates. Seton Hall swept a pair of games from John Beilein's crew last year, including a 68-64 decision in the Coliseum. That game saw West Virginia get up early, only to be answered by a 13-0 run to close the first half.

Leading the Pirates is point guard Andre Barrett, a Wooden Award semifinalist and All-America candidate. But, as stated in the Seton Hall preview, the Pirates are much more than Barrett. In fact, Marcus Toney-El, who seems to have been a Pirate since the Bill Raftery era, is the lone starter not averaging double figures in scoring. However if the Mountaineers are to have any chance of beating Seton Hall, it starts with containing Barrett.

"We're just looking to take him out of the game a little bit," said sophomore forward Kevin Pittsnogle.

In order to do that, the WVU backcourt will need to take care of the ball, and on defense not allow Barrett to penetrate every time down the floor. RIFLE REPORTS

It looks as though Patrick Beilein will start for the second straight game. Beilein made his first career start on Saturday at Villanova. Saturday's lineup marked the 8th different combination of starters for the Mountaineers this season, and the 5th since conference play began.

Despite the different lineups, coach Beilein has settled into what looks to be a seven man rotation.

"The starting lineup just depends on what we need," said the coach. "Do we need a quicker team? A bigger team? Regardless, we have to keep confidence in the different guys we play."

The younger Beilein has been the most consistent shooter for the Blue and Gold, and is averaging 11.4 points per game in Big East play.

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Despite their lack of size, Seton Hall has a reputation for being physical, particularly on the defensive end.

"Back when I was coaching at Canisius, we used to play one on one where you could foul as much as you wanted, and we called it New Jersey defense," recalled Beilein.

"It will be either a lesson for us or a moment where we learn how physical you have to be to beat teams like Seton Hall."

If the Mountaineers can match the Pirates intensity and physical play, it could make for a very entertaining contest. If not, and Barrett is able to control the game on both ends of the court, the Pirates could leave Morgantown with their fifth straight victory over West Virginia.


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