It’s damn near midnight so next to no one is going to see this but I do not give a single shit right now, I’m on cloud nine and a half. Lon Kruger must wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat having night terrors of Bob Huggins when it comes this time of year. I really think that they may have to force Kruger into an adult diaper for next years tournament, if he decides he wants to show up at all, I wouldn’t blame him a bit if he decides to sit it out if they are on the same side of the bracket as West Virginia. This season has been a crap chute for the most part but these last few games have been everything you could hope for on developing young talent. To put a cherry on this delightful rebuilding season we get to knock off Oklahoma in the Big 12 tourney, I genuinely can’t ask for more.
Solid minutes were played by Logan Routt, this is legit the first time this season I could watch him play and he not look like an 14 month old Great Dane puppy who just hadn’t learned to control that massive body yet. Hats off to Huggs for believing in this kid because there were several times this season I had given up on him entirely. Gordon looked like he grew up about 5 years tonight as well, Culver was in foul trouble all night (not surprising considering we may be the most hated black sheep team in the confrence) but Drew Gordon made the most of his opportunities playing like an absolute animal defensively and crashing the glass for put backs on the other end. Pure grit, pure heart, pure drive put on display by the reserve big men.
The young core of this team has looked very promising for next year I know almost all WVU fans are as excited as I am for next season but we are making this one as fun as possible at this point. The young stars got off to a rough start tonight with McCabe, Haley, and Culver combining for 4 points in the first half. But damn if the two guards didn’t come alive in the second. McCabe and Haley both have become so much more aggressive and playing with a sack full of confidence and I love every bit of it. McCabe as a floor general with the ball handling skills and and dead eye 3 point shot is enough to make any opposing guard piss his pants alone, alternatively you have a 6’7 Haley who is a match up problem for damn near everyone on the court and when he’s driving to the rim I don’t know who could stop him for a full 40 minutes.
This game also said a lot about Lamont West. There have been times in his career that I have questioned his commitment and his love of the game but since Ahmad and Harris got the boot it had felt like he got the message. Tonight he was on a different level though. In one sequence he played great low post defense, blocked a shot, ran the floor, made a great post move, then dished it off for a Logan Routt dunk. West played with a heart and passion that I had yet to see out of him but he looked like he could turn into a real leader. The Lamont West we have seen up to this point could never do anything other than shoot a 3 and get his feet stuck on defense, I have no idea where this guy came from but I pray he is here to stay.
I went into this tournament wanting one win, and damn did we deliver. It’s even better that OU keeps getting screwed on last second shots, it’s very nice to be on the winning end of a review like that for a change. This win was great and is everything I could’ve wanted but I’m praying for more. I know it’ll be a stretch but if this team plays as a unit and we get to keep Culver on the floor for a full game we may just be able to pull it off. If this team could make it to a Big 12 championship game after the season we have had I’d have no doubt in my mind about them being a final four team next season. For now though I’m just going to live in the moment and enjoy the hell out of this win. Hail West Virginia, Lets Go Mountaineers!