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Bock: Court Storm Celebration Helped Forget Months of Bad News For West Virginia



West Virginia Court Storm
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

Normally, I’d say a team like West Virginia shouldn’t storm the court based on their success historically, but Saturday after defeating No. 3 Kansas, it was a different story.

As soon as the buzzer sounded, the Mountaineer Maniacs section rushed the floor as WVU’s bench met their teammates and the fans on the floor. The eight months of all of the bad news West Virginia Basketball has had to endure was all forgotten in that moment, even if it was just for the duration of “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” It was a moment of unison between the players and the students, who can relate to each other in certain ways when it comes to the tough times. The celebration after the win over the Jayhawks was well worth it for the players, staff, students and fans.

“Awesome” was the common word used between the players who spoke with the media after the game. This was a big moment for them too, as they could show the college basketball world what they’re capable of.

“It’s such a blessing. I know we say it’s a blessing to be here but we go on the road, we’re going against ranked teams and we’re seeing like 200 people in the stands. To see how much support we have here like we love West Virginia so much,” WVU F Quinn Slazinski said. “This is for the fans, this is for the people that scream at their TV when they watch. I think the fans deserve it, I’m just happy that we’re all a part of it and we can get that for them.”

WVU Basketball has been beaten up since last May after Bob Huggins’ radio comment, which turned into his resignation in June after a DUI arrest. Then-assistant Josh Eilert was put in a tough situation, having to fill in for a Hall of Fame coach while retooling the roster late into the summer with his staff. After many departures, waiver denials, freak injuries and a suspension, West Virginia has still yet to put out their entire roster on the floor this season. Even after the offseason, West Virginia was dealing with many offseason-type issues and only had eight available scholarship players until mid-December.

Eilert, who is on an interim status for one season, has made it known that this program won’t be a victim despite the talk about all of the unlucky circumstances. It paid off for Eilert after securing his best win so far in his head coaching career.

“Great day to be a Mountaineer. That one felt good. That’s what our guys needed for that confidence to start snowballing in the right direction,” Eilert said. “It’s one thing to get a top 25 win in Texas, it’s another thing to beat a Hall of Fame coach and a top-five program at home. Hopefully, that goes a long way for our confidence moving forward and continuing the grind through the Big 12.”

Court storming has become the topic of conversation within the college basketball world this week as fans have made contact with opposing players. WVU handled it the best they possibly could by protecting the Kansas players and staff. That helped West Virginia’s players and fans to be able to enjoy their moment on Saturday night.

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