"I don't think the players like a week of practice only, but I do," he said with a laugh. "This is a week where you can add some things and work on things that you haven't been doing well. So it's been great for the coaching staff to add some new wrinkles and work on our deficiencies. But I'm not sure how much the players like it."
Games are the showcase for players, of course, so a week where practice is the only highlight can be something of a downer. However, the time off did allow WVU to heal some nagging injuries, and also provided extended downtime for guard Meg Bulger, who is trying to nurse a twice surgically-repaired knee back to health. Bulger has been out of WVU's lineup since injuring the joint during West Virginia's win over Marshall.
"Meg has practiced the past two days," Carey updated. "She is still a little bit tentative, and not full speed. It's a game-by-game decision, but she is at least out there practicing, so that is encouraging. We are anxious to see if the swelling or soreness continues."
On the court, Carey was pleased with the way his team responded to its big win over Rutgers.
"We were very concerned coming off the Rutgers game that we'd look past Seton Hall, because we hadn't played well up there since I have been here," he noted. "But we made the trip and took care of business, and now we have had the time off to heal people up and get some rest."
Carey was not surprised that Rutgers was able to knock off Connecticut recently, even though that created a circular result at the top of the league. West Virginia defeated Rutgers, while the Huskies downed the Mountaineers.
"I was not really surprised, because Rutgers has a very good team," he noted. "Based on our performance against Connecticut, it might have been surprising, because UConn handed it to us. But against Rutgers, we hung in there and had the chance to win at the end."
The round robin results are indicative of the strength of the league.
"This is the toughest the league has been Look at the preseason picks and you see some teams at the bottom that are up near the top," Carey said. "I think the league has proven [how tough it is] with its RPI and all the teams in the Top 25 and the wins over teams from other conferences. I think game in and game out, the teams in this league have proved themselves."