Defense The Key

West Virginia point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant has received a good dose of criticism for his ball handling issues in the first part of this year. He corrected that problem against Rutgers with attention to a different aspect of his game.

Bryant, who has also had discussions with head coach Bob Huggins concerning his defensive play, made that a priority in West Virginia'86-52 thumping of the Scarlet Knights. While he didn't suddenly become a lockdown defender, he did play better, helping keep guard Mike Coburn out of the lane and forcing four turnovers by the Rutgers playmaker.

That seemed to carry over to the offensive end, where Bryant didn't dribble into trouble or force plays as he has done in the past. In 20 minutes of action, Bryant committed just one turnover against two assists and two steals. More importantly, he directed the offense smoothly and efficiently, providing West Virginia with the play it needs in order to allow Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks to play at their natural swing positions.

Granted, this was Rutgers, not Syracuse, Villanova or Georgetown. But if Bryant can continue with the level of play he showed on Wednesday, West Virginia will have a much better chance of reaching the goals it set for itself in the preseason.

Truck Bryant Audio

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