West Virginia Gonzaga PLAYER GRADES

WVU Basketball Derek Culver

Indianapolis, Indiana – The West Virginia Mountaineers (3-1) suffered their first defeat of the season against the #1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Jimmy V Classic in Indianapolis.  Here are how all West Virginia players graded out for the game and for the season so far:


Miles McBride – This was not McBride’s best game.  He didn’t make a high percentage of his typically-automatic mid-range shots and also missed two wide open three pointers that really hurt the Mountaineers late.  This was, however, McBride’s best game running the West Virginia offense and distributing the ball. Stats: 10 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds (4-14 FG, 2-4 3PT)  Game Grade: C+, Season Grade: B+

Sean McNeil – McNeil is obviously an outstanding shooter and can make shots, but we haven’t seen it so far.  For the Mountaineers to be truly deadly, McNeil needs to be way, way more consistent from the perimeter.  In the meantime, play Taz!  Stats: 3 points, 0 rebounds, 1 assists (1-9 FG, 1-6 3PT)  Game Grade: D, Season Grade: C-

Emmitt Matthews, Jr. – I’m really not sure what Huggins sees in Matthews.  He is not a great shooter, he is out of control when he drives to the basket, and he makes a lot of silly mistakes.  I’d far rather see Bridges and Cottrell getting more minutes to improve their confidence than see Matthews continue to disappear in the West Virginia lineup.  Stats:  7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists (1-5 FG, 0-0 3PT)  Game Grade: D-, Season Grade: D

Oscar Tshiebwe – Tshiebwe came out with incredible energy and looked like himself for the first time this season.  He needs to find a way to stay out of foul trouble, which is a real problem for him right now.   Stats: 14 points, 9 rebounds, 0 assists (5-8 FG, 0-0 3PT) Game Grade: B+, Season Grade: C+

Derek Culver – Culver was a different animal tonight.  He is controlled and efficient on offense, and he continues to be a force on the boards.  Outstanding all around performance by Culver.  Stats: 18 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists (6-13 FG, 0-0 3PT) Game Grade:  A+, Season Grade: A


Taz Sherman – Sherman continues to shine off the bench.  His “charge” call should have been a foul and the shot, which would have cut the Gonzaga lead to one point.  He should be in the starting lineup and getting more minutes than Sean McNeil right now.   Stats:  12 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists (3-9 FG, 1-3 3PT)  Game Grade: B+, Season Grade: A

Jalen Bridges – Right now, Bridges doesn’t do much more than stand in the corner off the ball.  He missed another three pointer, making him 0-5 to start his career.    Stats:  0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT) Game Grade: D, Season Grade: D

Isaiah Cottrell – This was the first time this season that we saw what Cottrell can be for the Mountaineers.  He’s a big with talent to shoot and pass.  He really stepped in and contributed when the team needed him after Tshiebwe, Culver and Osabuohien were in foul trouble.  Stats: 6 points, 1 rebound, 1 assists (2-3 FG, 0-1 3PT) Game Grade: B, Season Grade: C-

Gabe Osabuohien – Another spectacular performance by Osabuohien, Gabe continues to be an ideal do-it-all player off the bench. Stats:  10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists (3-3 FG, 1-1 3PT) Game Grade: A, Season Grade A 

Jordan McCabe – McCabe missed another open three pointer and is now 0-5 from the field on he season.  He also made two atrocious passes in the 2nd half.  Stats: 2 points, 0 assists, 1 rebounds (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT) Game Grade: D, Season Grade:  C-

Kedrian Johnson – Johnson played very briefly and got an assist.    Stats: 0 points, 1 assists, 0 rebounds (0-0 FG, 0-0 3PT)  Game Grade: C, Season Grade: F

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Brad Smith
Brad Smith, "The Voice of Morgantown", is the most trusted, accomplished name in West Virginia sports journalism. Smith is the foremost, preeminent authority on West Virginia athletics and a lifelong fan of the Mountaineers. Smith, a proud graduate of West Virginia University, resides in Morgantown most of the year, but has a home in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lives during the winter.