Mazzulla Can't Wait to Get Started

When John Beilein came to West Virginia, the first player he signed was point guard Jarmon Durriseau-Collins. With Collins and four other seniors moving on after this season, the coach will have several new recruits coming in. Fittingly, the first committment of this class was also a point guard.

Joe Mazzulla, a 6'2" 195 pound point guard from Rhode Island, was Beilein's first committment from the class of 2006. Through the first eight games of his senior season, Joe's team is 7-1, including an unblemished 6-0 start in league play.

The steady point guard is putting together a good individual year for Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, R.I. Right now he's averaging 25 points, nine rebounds, and six assists per contest.

Like his fellow signees, Joe has been following the current Mountaineer squad pretty close on television.

"Every time they're on TV I try to watch them. If they're on ESPN or CBS, or FullCourt, I'm watching them," said Mazzulla in an exclusive interview with

It's no surprise to hear that he's paid particular attention to the play of the Mountaineer point guards, given that he will be in that role this time next year.

"I have a lot of tapes from their games. I've tried to dissect that offense, and look at J.D. Collins and Darris Nichols to visualize the options I'll have when I get there and into that offense," he said.

When watching those tapes he's also been looking at the unique 1-3-1 zone defense that West Virginia has had success with the past few seasons, and has even gotten some reps in it with his high school team.

"On defense we've been working on the 1-3-1 a few pieces at a time," he noted.

With most of his senior season remaining, there is still plenty of time for Joe to improve a few aspects of his game.

"Physically I'm trying to get quicker and stronger.I'm trying to make my midrange jumper and three pointer a little more consistent," he said. "A lot of (my preperations) are mental too. Watching Big East basketball on TV, it's hard to believe that I'm going to be playing there in a year.

All things considered, Mazzulla is excited to finish his senior season and become a Mountaineer.

"I've never been more excited," he said. "(West Virginia is) exactly what a basketball team should be. They're very well-coached and experienced. I think the media throws that aside because they aren't too athletic. Everytime I watch them play there's a smile on my face because I'm excited to go to an up and coming program."

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