Reversing the Trend

When No. 8 West Virginia takes on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday, it will be looking to break a record that is 14 years in the making. Despite nabbing two victories over the Irish last season, it has been 14 years since they have beaten Notre Dame on the Irish's home floor.

"Hopefully we can change that this year," said sophomore forward Kevin Jones. "We are looking forward to doing that. We just have to come out and have a great day at practice and get focused. A lot of teams are better at home. It's nothing new to us. We just have to go out on the road and just be focused and hopefully we will come out with a win."

Jones, along with fellow sophomores Darryl Bryant and Devin Ebanks, are undefeated against Notre Dame after pulling off two victories last year. During their regular season meeting last year, the Mountaineers came away with a victory with a final score of 79-68. In that game, forward Luke Harangody was still able to record big numbers. Harangody had 26 points in 38 minutes of play and shot 50 percent from the field. He had 13 rebounds and two blocks. Despite his impressive numbers, Jones was pleased with the Mountaineer's defensive efforts against the big man.

"[Last year] I remember we did a great job on the offensive glass against them," said Jones. "I think we should be able to do that again this year. We did a great job on Harangody. I think he still had his numbers but he worked for every point he got. We couldn't ask for more than that."

As a freshman, Jones saw valuable minutes in his first meeting with Notre Dame. During his 24 minutes of play off of the bench, he had 12 points and an impressive ten rebounds. Undoubtedly, Jones will see a significant increase in minutes in Saturday's game and will be Harangody's main defender.

"We're going to try and keep the ball out of his hands as much as possible," said Jones. "I think if we do that we will have a good chance of winning. We are going to keep a lot of movement on him and make sure we have a lot of outside defense on him. We need to make sure we key in on where he's at at all times. We know that he's a good player so he's going to make tough shots. We have to make sure that we play good defense and that he works for every point he gets."

While Jones has already faced his fair share of big men this season, he is yet to see a player as versatile as Harangody. While he has made a name for himself under the basket during his first three years at Notre Dame, this season he has added yet another offensive threat as he has been stepping beyond the arc and hitting three pointers. That's something that Jones is familiar with as well, as he has improved his shooting range and versatility greatly during his sophomore season.

"[Notre Dame] is a good three-point shooting team," said Jones. "Of course, they have Harangody who is a good player. We're going to have to let his other teammates try and beat us. We know he's probably going to get his numbers but we're going to let the rest of the team try and beat us. Harangody is a big part of their team. He's kind of like a point-forward for them. A lot of their offense goes through him. With the other [big guys] we didn't have to know where they were at all times but we had to be aware of them. With Harangody, we really have to key in on him."


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