Andre Barrett and John Allen form a strong one two punch in the Pirates' backcourt that has been the main reason for the Pirates' resurgence after a slow start.
Barrett (18.3 ppg, 5.7 apg) scores and dishes the ball with equal ability, and makes the Pirate offense diffcult to defend off the bat. Allen, at a muscular 6-5 and 205 pounds, provides another defensive challenge, as he averages 15 points per game and also snares five rebounds per outing.
Freshman Donald Copeland and senior Desmond Herod combine to provide some backup minutes, but little productivity, in the Pirate backcourt.
The Pirates are not overly big up front, but feature a number of players who can get to the basket and score in traffic.
Marcus Toney-El (7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and freshman Kelly Whitney (10.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) form the scoring punch in the starting lineup, while senior Greg Morton (3.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg) sees less that 18 minutes of action.
Off the bench, sophomore forward Andre Sweet gets more time than Morton, and also produces more, averaging 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest. J. R. Morris, Damion Fray and Eric Davis will also see stints of action, as the Pirates will shuffle 11 or 12 players onto the court during most games.
Collins has been very good defensively for the Mountaineers this year, but faces yet another in a string of outstanding Big East foes in this contest.
|Sat 2/22 Noon|
WVU 13-10, 4-7
SH 12-9, 6-4
ESPN Full Court
WVU - 75
SH - 38
|Line: WVU -3|
Collins will have to take away one part of Barrett's game, and seek to make him one dimensional. If Collins can keep Barrett from getting open shots and force him to give the ball up on penetration without defensive help, then the Mountaineers will have a good chance at recording another conference win.
On offense, Collins must avoid the temptation to try to match the Pirate star point for point or move for move. Collins has done an excellent job of pacing the offense and moving the ball to shooters this year, and he must continue to perform those tasks to keep the WVU offense working efficiently.
SH: Marcus Toney-El (Wrist) Will play
A casual observer will note Seton Hall's short lineup and think that West Virginia might be facing a foe that they can match up with more effectively than, say, Georgetown. However, Seton Hall's style of play, and the types of players they put at each position, will cause problems for WVU.
When West Virginia is in man to man, the Pirates will look to get big guard John Allen inside against smaller Mountaineer defenders. Drew Schifino will likely have his hands full in these situations, as Seton Hall figures to try to wear Schifino down on defense to keep him off the mark on the offensive end.
At first glance, zone appears to be the way to go against the Pirates, as Seton Hall is only shooting 31% from three point range on the season. However, the Pirates are hitting almost 40% from beyond the arc in Big East conference play, so sitting back in the 2-3 may not be a great choice either.
The Pirates feature a number of players who slash to the basket and score on the move, which presents yet another challenge for the WVU defense. Both the 1-3-1 and the 2-3, while capable of slowing the actin a bit, have vulnerabilities against dribble penetration that Seton Hall figures to be able to exploit.
With all that said, somehow the Mountaineer shave been able to bounce back and win games after suffering tough losses of several different varieties. Keeping that focus and concentration will be a key as WVU looks to take their next step toward the conference tournament.
Jarmon Durisseau-Collins has played 103 straight minutes without a turnover.
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Due to the rescheduling of a postponed game against Villanova, the Pirates are beginning a stretch of four games in eight days. WVU provides the bookends of that stretch, with contests against the Wildcats and Rutgers in between.
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Andre Barrett wears number 12 for the Pirates, despite the fact that that number is one of eight that have been "retired" by the University.
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