Morgantown, WV – The West Virginia Basketball team went 3-0 on their tour around Spain that included stops in Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. The Mountaineers averaged 103.3 points per game and held their opponent to 62.3 points per game.
The team arrived Tuesday afternoon and WVU head coach Bob Huggins addressed the media via teleconference Wednesday morning and discussed the talent level they faced.
“When you go over there that time of year, you’re not sure what you’re going to get,” explained Huggins. “And, generally speaking, the American pros don’t go over that soon. Some of their better players, you know, take a little bit more time off. Some of these people play right into almost June. You never know what you’re going to get. The last game, I thought those guys were really competitive.”
One of the biggest surprises was senior Logan Routt. The former walk-on averaged 17 points and 7.7 rebounds on the trip.
“He played really well,” said Huggins. “Played hard. Really ran the floor, which we were really pleased about. Logan has kind of labored the floor a little bit. He was great at running the floor.”
“(Assistant coach) Sean’s (Martin) done a great job with him,” stated Huggins. “Sean’s done a great job of making him leaner. He hasn’t lost weight per se, but he’s gained muscle mass. He has a lot more muscle mass and he’s running really well.”
The Mountaineers shot 50.6% (118-233) from the field and went 27-80 (33.8&) from three-point range during the span of three games.
“Obviously, we like for it to be more consistent, but we got a lot of guys that can make shots,” said Huggins. “Emmitt started out making them, and then he kind of started struggled a little bit. But then other guys stepped up. Sean (McNeil) shot it pretty consistent. Taz (Sherman) shot it consistent. Jordan made shots the last couple of games. I don’t think that’s going to be a big area of concern. I think we got enough guys that I can’t imagine all of them can’t make shots on a given day.”
Last season, West Virginia finished the year below .500 for the first time since the 2012-2013 campaign. There’s a lot of new faces to a team that started to figure out at the end of the season that included a ranked win over Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament. Seemingly, this group is continuing to grow in the off-season.
“It was totally different watching this group,” stated Huggins. “I think one…their togetherness and having the ability to rely on each other but they played really hard. It wasn’t easy to play hard because those gyms were hot, now. I mean, they were really hot. The last game we had to keep taking Jermaine and Emmitt out and alternating those two guys. You can’t imagine how hot, particularly that last game.”
*Note: WVU head coach Bob Huggins said that Oscar Tshiebwe will be able to go to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge, in late November, after not being able to make the trip to Spain due to visa issues.
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