"They Stuck With Me"

Joe Mazzulla is the kind of recruit that's easy to cheer for. Articulate and polite, Mazzulla displays a very thankful and positive outlook on his recruitment by WVU.

"They offered me last November before they made that great run to the Elite Eight. Afterward, they (WVU) could have gone after higher-profile recruits but they stuck with me and I stuck with them," the Rhode Island player of the year said.

Steady is a good word to describe Mazzulla's game. In both of his games with the 76ers Wednesday at the Reebok ABCD Camp, the left-hander was effective at penetrating into the lane and making something positive happen either for himself or his teammates. One teammate in particular, Daniel Hackett (6-5 200) from Downey, Calif., was the benefactor of several of Mazzulla's passes.

Mazzulla also showed he can easily penetrate, stop on a dime and pull-up and hit the medium range jumper in the lane. Mazzulla demonstrated the ability to see the entire court, although he appears to be slightly less than his reported 6-2 height. On defense, Mazzulla is a very pesky defender and disrupted numerous passes by deflecting or stealing the ball from his opponent.

"I'm not flashy." Mazzulla said. "I ‘m strong fundamentally and I make my teammates better by setting them up for easy baskets or open looks. I'm definitely a pass-first, shoot-second kind of player. I can score, don't get me wrong, but being a strong leader on the court is probably my greatest strength."

"Coach Beilein has told me he is expecting a lot from me next year," Mazzulla said. "I have to be ready to play right away and go with Darris Nichols as soon as I arrive on campus." Mazzulla expects to enroll at WVU next July during one of the summer sessions.

If Wednesday is any indication, WVU appears to have found a solid replacement at the point guard position to help ease the loss of J.D. Collins after this season. West Virginia has now settled into a nice rotation at the point. Nichols will have spent two seasons backing up Collins after next year, and will be primed to move into the starting spot as a junior. Mazzulla, arriving at the same time, could then follow Nichols' path and make his own push for the starting job two years later.

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