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Asti: This West Virginia Basketball Team Feels Different, Showing Signs of High Ceiling



PITTSBURGH – There’s something different about this West Virginia basketball team. And while it’s still very early in the season and several true tests are yet to come, it’s becoming evident why Bob Huggins was getting excited before this group even got on the court in a game together.

West Virginia’s strong shooting night was ignited early, hitting 9 of their first 10. A layup then cooled WVU off a bit and allowed Pitt to steal momentum after a couple outside shots. If that exact turn of events happened a year ago, the Mountaineers would have unraveled. But this team is different. Or at least this team feels different.

A better offensive team with a mix of experience and tons of talent could allow the sky to be the limit for this group of Mountaineers. A win over Pitt isn’t any reason to celebrate for too long with tougher games eventually coming up on the schedule, but to dominate a rival, especially when most were predicting it to be a close game, can allow a team to feel a confidence that can propel them to heights the program hasn’t experienced in awhile.

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Does dominating Pitt mean this WVU team is headed on a deep NCAA Tournament run? It’s impossible to say that this early in the season, but it’s also fair to say this team has played better than most expected to. Huggins believes they can only get better too, especially because a player like Tre Mitchell is out there adding depth and contributing, but doing at less than 100%.

“That’s not the Tre you’re going to see later on,” Huggins said about Tre Mitchell who went 3-for-5 from the field with 8 points against Pitt. Huggins evaluation of Mitchell could end up being a big key to this team having a special season. Mitchell adds a depth to WVU with Erik Stevenson, Jimmy Bell Jr. and Emmitt Matthews Jr. leading the way.

Factor in that WVU will be able to plug Manhattan transfer Jose Perez in at some point too, maybe as early as December, and this offense should only become more potent.

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West Virginia fans have reason to be hesitant since they have witnessed WVU teams squander strong starts to seasons in recent years. But West Virginia fans also have reason to be pleased and have reason for optimism after an impressive performance in a road win over a rival.

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