Please Share

Sioux Falls, South Dakota – The West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0) defeated the South Dakota State Jackrabbits  (0-1) 79-71 in the opening round of the Crossover Classic.  With a ton of hype heading into this game, the Mountaineers gave an underwhelming performance and looked an awful lot like last year’s poor-shooting team.  Here’s how all of the Mountaineers graded for tonight’s game:

Starters: 

Miles McBride – Deuce made a lot of mid-range jumpers and obviously he was the key to the West Virginia victory. McBride has to be become more adept at facilitating the offense and distributing the ball to his team.  However, without Deuce, West Virginia loses by double-digits to South Dakota State tonight.  Stats: 21 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound (9-19 FG, 1-6 3PT)  Grade: A-

Sean McNeil – While McNeil missed a lot of shots, he was open and had a lot of opportunities.  If the Mountaineers are going to be one of the best teams in the nation, he will need to make a far higher percentage of his shots to open up the team’s inside game.  Stats: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists (6-16 FG, 2-9 3PT)  Grade: C

Emmitt Matthews, Jr. – Matthews started the game off with 5 quick points, but forced a lot of quick perimeter shots that didn’t have much of a chance of going in.  I would much rather see him penetrating and getting into the lane for easier shots.  Stats:  7 points, 2 rebounds, 0 assists (3-7 FG, 1-3 3PT)  Grade:  C-

Oscar Tshiebwe – Tshiebwe got into early foul trouble and looked completely lost when he was in the game.  Tshiebwe air-balled a post shot and his jump shot from 10-12 feet looked ugly.  In addition, there wasn’t any of the typical Tshiebwe hustle or effort during this game.   Stats: 7 points, 3 rebounds, 0 assists (3-5 FG, 0-0 3PT) Grade: D

Derek Culver – Culver is a dominant rebounder, but he continues to struggle offensively, particularly with his back to the basket.  His interior defense also left a lot to be desired tonight.  He did, however, make some nice passes in the post for some easy baskets for his teammates.  Stats: 7 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists (3-8 FG, 0-0 3PT) Grade:  C- 

Reserves:

Taz Sherman – I really like what Taz contributed off the bench.  Sherman is a scorer and that’s what he did tonight.  He also played sneaky good defense and gave great effort.  Stats:  14 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists (4-9 FG, 4-6 3PT)  Grade: B+

Jalen Bridges – Although Bridges didn’t score any points, he did provide good energy, strong defense and a couple of rebounds in his first game.  Stats:  0 points, 2 rebounds, 0 assists (0-2 FG, 0-2 3PT) Grade: C-

Isaiah Cottrell – Really tough first game for a freshman with a bright future at WVU, Cottrell looked shaky and settled for perimeter shots instead of playing around the basket. He’ll do incredible things for the Mountaineers, but this really was not the debut anyone expected.  Stats: 2 points, 1 rebound, 0 assists (1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT) Grade: D

Gabe Osabuohien – The only player on the West Virginia roster that looked completely ready to play in the opener.  Another outstanding garbage man classic for Gabe.  Stats:  3 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist (1-3 FG, 0-0 3PT) Grade: A  

Jordan McCabe – Disastrous opening game offensively for a player that really needed a solid start to gain confidence.   Stats: 0 points, 1 assist, 0 rebounds (0-4 FG, 0-4 3PT) Grade:  F  

Kedrian Johnson – Very brief appearance but looked solid defensively.  His only shot was a bad airball.  Stats: 0 points, 1 rebound, 0 assists  Grade: C

Please Share