Mountaineers Prepare for Irish

I've always been an optimist, looking for the silver lining to every dark cloud. When you're a Mountaineer fan, that optimism is repeatedly taken to the brink. After Sunday's eyesore of a second half against Boston College, one might think it's hard to find a silver lining. Truth be told though, there is one.

There's only two off days between BC and Notre Dame! So, now that it's Tuesday, the Mountaineer basketball team can't possibly still think about BC, because Notre Dame is coming to Morgantown tomorrow night.

"That's always a positive that we'll be out here in a little more than 24 hours, and the BC game will be a distant memory," said Mountaineer head basketball coach John Beilein on the Coliseum floor Tuesday afternoon. "That's the great thing that we have. I could never be a football coach, I could never wait that long to play after a tough game."

Unfortunately for Beilein and the Mountaineers, the next opponent hasn't exactly been an easy out for West Virginia the last few years. Notre Dame has won 10 in a row against their Blue and Gold brethren. Beilein knows though that anything can happen on any night in the Big East.

"I know there are a lot of people in West Virginia, like anywhere, that love Notre Dame, and I'm sure that there's a lot of people in West Virginia that would love to see us win this game, and no one more than our coaching staff or our team. It would be a great lift for us, but again they're a very good basketball team that knows how to win."

Anyone who follows the Big East knows about Irish point guard Chris Thomas. Mike Brey's team is much more than Thomas though. The Irish start Thomas, Chris Quinn, and Colin Falls in their three guard lineup, and all three of those guys are great shooters that have to be accounted for.

"What's scary about these three guards is that there are a lot of people who play three guards, but they don't all shoot 40 percent. They all shoot forty percent," says Beilein about the Irish trio.

Another dangerous player is Arizona transfer Dennis Latimore. The long, rangy Latimore concerns Beilein coming off the bench.

"The addition of Latimore has given them more versatility. The only players they lost from last year are Timmermans and Jones. Those are two good players, but they're role players. Latimore is not a role player. Latimore is a very talented young man."

There's no doubt that the Mountaineers will have their hands full with the Irish guards, Latimore, and the rest of Brey's squad on Wednesday night. But in remaining optimistic, just remember that the Mountaineers and Irish almost always go down to the wire. With the bad luck that's bitten this team the past few games maybe, just maybe, the ball will finally bounce West Virginia's way.

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