McBride no longer the Mountaineers ‘other’ freshman


West Virginia is the youngest team in the Big 12. The Mountaineers best player might be a freshman.

But it might not be the freshman you think.

There have been multiple games this season that heralded McDonald’s All-American Oscar Tshiewbe wasn’t just the best player for WVU, but he was the best player on the floor.

After West Virginia’s 66-54 home win over Texas Tech on Saturday night, that description also applies to fellow Mountaineers freshman Miles McBride.

As is going to be the case all year, Saturday night’s Big 12 showdown featured a pair of defensively proficient and offensively deficient teams. But West Virginia was (and is) the better defensive and rebounding team of the two. The final score reflects it.

But offensively, the Mountaineers (13-2, 2-1 Big 12) had multiple stretches where they looked overwhelmed by the Red Raiders half-court defense. Texas Tech (10-5, 1-2) was partially responsible for that. But only partially.

This is where McBride made his presence felt. West Virginia didn’t have many open looks against the TTU defense. Neither did McBride.

Unlike his teammates, McBride didn’t need them.

The Cincinnati native hit contested shot after contested shot in racking up a career-high 22 points in the Mountaineers conference home opener. He finished 8-for-11 from the field, including hitting his only 3-point attempt. He provided an offensive thirsty team with desperately needed scoring drink.

McBride didn’t just lead the victory with his scoring. He was West Virginia’s best perimeter defender Saturday night as well. He took a charge midway through the second half when the Mountaineers defense was putting Texas Tech on ice. His energy, quickness and aggressiveness were on display all night.

McBride wasn’t just the Mountaineers best player Saturday night. He was the best player on the floor.

This might not have been the first time that’s the case.

It won’t be the last.