Bits and pieces, quotes and notes from basketball practice as the Mountaineer men's hoops team prepares for their European swing.
Tidbits and items of interest from West Virginia
's preseason practice sessions.
Joe Herber is serving as WVU's unofficial advance man, providing scouting services from his spot on the German national team. Herber, who is on the bench but not playing as the Germans play some pre-Olympic exhibitions, is on the official 15 man roster and will play in next year's European championships.
Head coach John Beilein already knows a bit about the opposition in Europe, having made previous visits with other schools.
"The are the mastes of the penetrate and kick-out," Beilein observed of the European style.
The 24-second shot clock will provide a challenge. Beilein hopes to get the ball upcourt quickly and get into the offense by the 18 second mark. While that's an ambitious goal, it will also help the team during their regular season. If WVU has 28-30 seconds to run their offense, they are usually assured of getting a good shot.
Conversely, Beilein isn't worried about the more distant three-point line and trapezoid lane used by international team. As a result, no modifications are being made to WVU's floor to practice with the different configuration.
"My teams in the past weren't bothered by it," Beilein said. "It wasn't a big difference."
As a reward for his faithful service, Beilein plans to give Jonathan Curran, who exhausted his eligibility last year, some extended playing time on the tour. Curran hopes to catch the eye of European scouts on the trip.
Following a sloppy drill, Beilein made the following observation: "Simple plays will get you wins - crazy plays result in losses." If ever a coach's philosophy was summed up in a sentence, that would be it.