Pittsnogle Ready For Challenge At WVU

Kevin Pittsnogle will be the center of attention, both literally and figuratively, when he first steps on the floor for WVU this fall.At 6-10 and growing, Pittsnogle is well aware that he'll be the tallest player on the revamped WVU roster this fall, but he's also prepared to meet that challenge.

"I'm going to have to push a lot harder this summer, because I'm probably going to have to play more this year that what I thought. Hopefully it will work out that I will play a lot and do well."

After signing with WVU last fall, Pittsnogle was hit with a lot of changes, starting with the retirement of head coach Gale Catlett and followed by the departure of WVU's two centers. Simply going away to college and playing Division 1 basketball is stressful enough, but the addition of the upheaval in the Mountaineer program had to be an area of concern for the sharpshooting Pittsnogle.

Pittsnogle snares pass
After a meeting with new head coach John Beilein, however, any such fears were quickly resolved.

"He told me about his offense and how he likes his big men to play. He has them work around the outside and post up both. His big men need to have a good touch outside, and he told me that I would fit perfectly into his program.

"So at that point, I knew it was a great opportunity for me. I'll have a good chance of playing as a freshman and getting acclimated to the Big East environment."

Pittsnogle displayed several of those atttributes during Friday's North-South All Star basketball game in Charleston, which his team won by the count of 88-74. He spotted up for a couple of three pointers, displayed a silky smooth touch from the free throw line, and showed the ability to handle the ball in the open floor.

For much of the game, however, Pittsnogle played in the post with his back to the basket, which definitely is not his strength. However, he did unveil a nice turnaround jumper and a jumphook that, with work, could be an effective weapon.

For much of the game, Pittsnogle was matched up against former AAU teammate Mark Patton, who is bound for Marshall. Each player got in their licks, with Pittsnogle scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to Patton's 15 and 14.

"The next time we meet it will be a lot more intense, because WVU vs. Marshall is always a big rivalry," Pittsnogle analyzed. "Down in Charleston it will be a lot more intense. Today was fun. It was intense, but it was fun."

Somehow, Pittsnogle was deprived of the North MVP award, which went to former Martinsburg teammate Buck Springette. Springette, who had 15 points and 8 rebounds, has committed to WVU Tech and former Mountaineer assistant coach Drew Catlett.

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