WVU the Foe to Watch for Players of the Week

The Mountaineer basketball team will definitely win one award this season - "Opponent of the Year".

As we futilely searched the Big East media releases for a player of the week award for the men's basketball team, the realization grew that opponents had been feasting on the Mountaineers this season.

That's probably not a shocking revelation in light of WVU's hideous 1-13 conference mark, but the numbers go way beyond what even the Mountaineers' record suggests.

Since the weekly awards of January 7 (when conference play began), the Big East has named eight players of the week and eight rookies of the week, for a total of 16 awards. A staggering seven of those awards were either won or shared by opponents that had faced WVU during the week they won the award.

The roll call includes Syracuse's Preston Shumpert, Georgetown's Mike Sweetney, Pitt's Brandin Knight and UConn's Caron Butler with Player of the Week honors. They are joined by two time winner Chris Thomas of Notre Dame and St. John's Erik King as Rookie of the Week honorees.

The insult was double this past week, as Butler and Thomas parlayed their games against WVU into an embarrassing sweep of the awards.

Some of the awards process, no dobut, focuses on winning. Chris Moss has put up solid numbers that would have undoubtedly had him in contention had the Mountaineers manged to win a game or two.

It doesn't change the fact, however, that the Mountaineers have been mere cannon fodder for many of the league's upper tier players this year. Without a doubt, Sweetney and Knight will be looking to make their final statements for Big East Player of the Year this week. Since each has one more game with the Mountaineers, they'll each have the opportunity to put up more big numbers.

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