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Bridges Shows Signs of Aggressiveness Just in Time

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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – One of the clear points in watching this West Virginia team is that Jalen Bridges has not really taken that huge step up like everyone had anticipated. Some expected him to be the for sure third scoring option to give Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil some support.

Bridges has acknowledged this, as he is searching to new his new role on this team. The sophomore forward wants to change that and become more aggressive. Bridges doesn’t want to fear anymore about taking a shot or getting sent to the bench.

“I need to be more assertive. I feel like sometimes I get kind of lost in the mix out there,” Bridges said before the Youngstown State game. “I’m doing other things well but I’m not shooting the ball that I should be.”

Maybe it was the new hairstyle that Bridges brought out this week? Or, maybe it was the confidence boost after his amazing commercial for Rogers and Mazza’s pepperoni rolls? Whatever it was for Bridges, it worked.

The Fairmont, W. Va., native finished with a near double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. Bridges attempted more shots (6) than he usually does per game. With those six shot attempts, Bridges made three of them, shooting 50 percent from the field. Bridges also had two steals and a block to go with his performance on Wednesday night.

“I was looking more to get to the basket than I probably have all season,” Bridges said postgame. I was just trying to dominate, whether that would be scoring the ball, rebounding the ball, I was just trying to do whatever I could aggressively to help my team win.”

Hopefully for Bob Huggins and his team, this is the turning point for Bridges. The Mountaineers desperately need Bridges to step up and become that expected third option as they expected, as Big 12 play starts on New Year’s Day.

Bridges is averaging 7.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and is just under a steal and a block per game. The 6-foot-7 forward is shooting 46 percent from the field this season.

(Top Photo: Julia Mellett / WVSN)

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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