Beilein, Mountaineers Prepare For Pressure

WVU's young ballhandlers will face their first pressure-oriented defense against the Florida Gators on Tuesday in Charleston.

"It will be interesting to see how we react to their pressure," head coach John Beilein said on Monday. "We haven't faced much pressure yet, because the teams we have played don't press."

Beilein and his staff have been working on protecting the ball, and will run through drills against six defensive players to attempt to get used to the swarming nature of the Gators' full court defenses.

"We've been doing ok with it. Not great, but ok."

Beilein also fended off several questions about giving state native Brett Nelson a chance to play in front of his hometown fans.

"I'm sure there's some people that think there's something wrong with that," Beilein noted. "But we'll make a positive out of it. We are going to try to recruit the great players in this state, but you're not going to get all of them.

"We are going to do all we can to be visible in the southern part of the state. We know that basketball is important to the people of West Virginia. We play Marshall in Charleston every year, and we'd like to play another game there so long as it's in the best interest of our team."

The game came about due to assistant coach Matt Brown's ties with Florida coach Billy Donovan. Brown, who remains close with Donovan, was on his staff at Marshall.


Beilein isn't too worried about WVU's free throw percentage, which is next to last in the Big East at 55.6%.

"Many times your best shooters don't get to the free throw line, because the good shooters tend to shoot threes before they get fouled. A guy like Josh Yeager, who only shot 15 free throws last year, is a good example. So, I think that contributes some to low free throw percentage.

The Mountianeers shoot free throws every day in practice, and Beilein has indicated that he is working with some of his players on refining their shooting motion. Beilein also beleives that getting to the line multiple times in a game can help improve percentages.

"If you only get to the line one time, and miss, then that's it. But if you get there ten times and make eight, it's a different story."

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