Lineup Switch?

After shuffling his lineup for Senior Night, might head coach John Beilein be tempted to keep the five seniors in the starting lineup when the Mountaineers face Cincinnati on Saturday?

Beilein, who faced the decision of whether or not to start son Patrick (one career start) against Pitt on Senior Night, did so, and saw the Mountaineers come away with a win over the Panthers. That move broke WVU's string of having the same starting lineup on the floor for every game this year – a record that Beilein certainly wasn't concerned about. However, with a win coming from the new starting five, could Beilein, who has admitted in the past that he doesn't like to tinker with success, be tempted to keep his son in with the starters?

"We get all the seniors in there together a lot, so we're not going to dwell who starts," Beilein said as his team prepared for the Bearcats. I assume we will go back to the normal rotation. Frank Young has been a great part of this whole thing. If he came to me and said he felt better coming off the bench I would do it, but that hasn't been the case. And I haven't found anyone coming off the bench better than Pat. I assume we will stay with the regular starters and rotation."


Beilein's recollections of the first Cincinnati game this year are a collage of power jams.

"What I remember is they dunked about the first 5-6 shots," he recalled. "They did a great job against us on dribble-drive penetration and finding Hicks and Mohammed. I think they outhustled us the first half as well. In the second half we played better, but they got open shots and just missed them. We know they have a lot to gain, but we are going in with a lot to gain as well in terms of getting momentum going into the Big East tournament.

Although Beilein does not like to discuss his selections for all-league teams, he said that Hicks is certainly deserving of a first-team slot.

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Beilein also responded to a question on the three-pointer with its positive impact on the game.

"I think the three-pointer has enhanced the strategy of the game. You can come back more quickly, and lose a lead much more quickly, too. I think people have to try to use it correctly, but it's a great equalizer for teams like us that aren't huge and don't have great quickness. It allows us to play a certain style where we emphasize not turning the ball over. I think the college game has never been hotter than it is right now, and the three-pointer and the shot clock contribute to that a great deal."

Beilein also noted that different teams get their three-pointers in different way.

"Villanova does a great job in that they can just shoot off the dribble, but most of ours come off penetration," he explained. "Ours mostly result from that, or from screening and creating space. We don't just go down and jack it. We try to get time and space to shoot the three."

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Beilein also took the time to comment on Joe Herber's Academic All-American of the year honor.

"I think we've had a lot of awards over my 31 years, but this award for Joe –he deserves every bit of it. He works hard, and he's done it as a second language. It makes you wonder how brilliant this young man really is. We are so proud of him and so blessed to be a part of his life. He has great stats, but it's the intangible areas [that make him great]. He shuts down an opposing player, takes a charge, makes an extra pass, and gets the assist. He is as good as they get.

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Beilein on WVU's Big East tournament prospects: "I can't think of a team I want to see in the tournament."

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