Basketball Practice Report

D'or Fischer scored 19 points to lead the WVU White team to a 48-46 come-from-behind win over Blue in an intrasquad scrimmage Thursday at the Coliseum.

Jo Herber added 13 points, six on three-pointers, for White. Tyrone Sally led Blue with 15 while Frank Young netted nine in the 40-minute contest. Luke Bonner finished with double-digit rebounds for Blue.

Team pairings were Fischer, Herber, Mike Gansey, Darris Nichols, Kevin Pittsnogle and Nick Patella for White. Blue was Sally, Young, Bonner, J.D. Collins, Patrick Beilein, Brad Byerson, Ted Talkington and Duriel "Juice" Price. Robert Summers was in class and did not play.

White, coached by assistant Jeff Neubauer, fell behind by 11 in the first 15 minutes. But it ripped off 14 of the next 19 points to tie the game at 28-28 with 13 minutes remaining.

Sally's dunk off an inside feed from Collins put Matt Brown-coached Blue ahead again before Herber's second three-pointer gave White its first lead at 31-30 at the 10-minute mark.

The clock, which ran for the first 30 minutes, was stopped for fouls and dead balls in the last 10. The shot clock -- normally 35 seconds – was then set at 27 to force West Virginia to move the ball into offensive sets quicker.

White responded with the inside-out combination of Gansey and Fischer. The pair combined for 14 of Blue's last 17 points. Gansey hit two threes and Fischer poured in eight of his 19 during the last 10 minutes.

With the game tied at 42, Collins stole the ball from Nichols and was fouled driving to the basket. He hit both free throws, but Gansey answered with his second three.

Beilein hit a short jumper to put Blue ahead 46-45 with one minute left. The squad was then held scoreless, however, as Collins turned the ball over on the next trip. Fischer's inside layin for White and a Patella free throw made the difference.

There were 10 three-pointers accounting for 30 of the 94 points. Add in Fischer's 19, and more than half the total points scored came from threes or Fischer. Sally, Gansey and Herber each hit two while Beilein, Collins, Young and Pittsnogle had one.

Poor shooting marred the first 20 minutes of the contest. Beilein did not shoot well from three-point range and Nichols was scoreless. There were three ties and five lead changes.

WVU went eight of 13 from the foul line. Blue was three of six; White five of seven.


The Mountaineers practiced for 90 minutes prior to the scrimmage. The focus was on longer drills and shooting.

The team broke into units by position, then matched three perimeter passers against two defenders. The drill stressed quick feet and hands and the need to change direction. The goal was to get a hand in the face of every shot. It forced defensive communication as well.

West Virginia then went to a six-on-five defensive drill. The team placed five players in normal offensive positions, then allowed one offensive player to stand directly under the hoop without calling three seconds. Defenders tried to stop scoring while never allowing the ball inside to the man under the basket.

There was also the usual emphasis on stretching and free throw shooting. Short jumpers are being focused upon by this staff, as are hook shots inside from Pittsnogle, Fischer, Bonner and Summers.

Pick-and-rolls and screens were also worked on. Proper screen usage was a focus. The Beilein offense allows for screen options. If defenders are on top of a player, that offensive player can choose to work around the screen. If the defender slacks off to pick up the player as he comes around Beilein teaches his team to step back off the screen and look for the open three-point shot.

There is no way to stop it save switching defenders, and even then somebody should be open for a pass. It is also a great way to create a desired matchup, especially for Pittsnogle outside.

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