Texas A&M 88 West Virginia 65
West Virginia had to replace a lot from that sweet 16 team a year ago, but there was a lot of talent waiting in the wings and coming into Morgantown. That talent did not blossom in Germany.
The Mountaineers came out on fire taking a 13-point lead, 20-7, and forced 6 turnovers in the first 8 minutes of the game. It was the start everyone has been looking forward to since the sweet 16 appearance against Gonzaga, but Texas A&M started to heat up.
The Mountaineers scored 26 points in the first 12 minutes of the game, shots were falling, and the defense was looking good, then everything would start to fall apart.
When Texas A&M started to make their run, you could see the inexperience coming out of this young Mountaineer team. They looked completely lost on the offensive end of the floor and their confidence was fading fast. Not one player was attacking the basket, resulting in missed three pointers and jump shots.
West Virginia hasn’t been known for a shooting team since head coach Bob Huggins stepped onto campus, relying on getting turnovers to create offense but that wasn’t the case in the season opener.
The Mountaineers shot 34% (24-70) from the field and 30% (12-40) from three-point range, while the Aggies where hot from the outside, going 10-19 (53%) from behind the arc and 31-64 (48%) from the field.
The Press Virginia style we have come accustomed to seeing over the past couple years was non-existent. They pressed, it just wasn’t effective. All the 18 Aggie turnovers came in the half-court defense.
The Mountaineers did not take care of the ball, at times they were out of control trying to make a play and it resulted in 16 turnovers.
West Virginia got out rebounded 45-37.
There wasn’t a lot of bright spots for the Mountaineers. If there was one positive to take from this game, it was that James Bolden can score and in bunches. He led the team in scoring with 19 points and 13 came in the second half.
Although West Virginia got blown out in this game, it is not time to panic. This is a young team that must replace six key players from a year ago, including Esa Ahmad.
Getting some of these young players on the same page with Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles will be a challenge, but if there is one man that can do it, its Bob Huggins.
They have three games until the Advocare Invitational, where the Mountaineers will get their next big test. West Virginia plays American University on Wednesday, November 15th.