Turning to the business at hand, don't try telling anyone around the Mountaineer men's basketball team that St. John's is 5-15, including a miserable 0-9 in Big East play. The mood around the practice floor Tuesday was one of strict business. Despite the fact that the Red Storm will dress at most 9 players, including 4 walk-ons, the Mountaineers believe they will have their hands full come Wednesday night.
"These are the teams that are most dangerous, the ones with nothing to lose," noted sophomore guard Patrick Beilein. "We're not taking anyone lightly."
Junior forward Tyrone Sally, who poured in 24 points in the last meeting with St. John's, agreed.
"When you overlook a team, usually it comes back to bite you in the end."
Head coach John Beilein echoed the thoughts of his players. "People are crazy if they think (this game) will be a blowout. We have to play well.
"On any given night, anybody can beat anyone, and we have to play our best tomorrow."
Two of the players disciplined in the aforementioned fiasco were the two leading scorers for St. John's. Guard Elijah Ingram, who tossed in 19 points in the first meeting, was suspended permanently, pending an expulsion hearing. Senior Grady Reynolds has already been expelled.
Leading St. John's is guard Daryl "Showtime" Hill, with an average of 11.8. Speaking of Hill, let me vent on this "Showtime" business. I don't care how good of a playground player you are, when your team is 5-15 and has yet to win a conference game, the fancy nicknames go the way of the door. Period. End of story.
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While I'm venting, let me bring this up too: You don't boo your own players. Now look, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but this is a topic that needs to be addressed. During the player introductions to last week's Seton Hall game, Martinsburg native Kevin Pittsnogle was greeted with mostly cheers, but some noticeable jeers coming from the student section. Shame on all of those who took part in this classless charade.
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And finally, kudos to Blue and Gold faithful for making the Feb. 21 home game with Pitt a sellout. The Coliseum will be rockin' as 14,000 plus look on in hopes of a Mountaineer upset over the Panthers. Now, if we can just get 10,000+ for every Big East home game, we'd really have something going.