WVU Basketball lost for a third-straight game on Tuesday night, falling to Kansas State 81-67. Let’s look at some takeaways from the game as West Virginia blew an opportunity for a win.
WVU Was in Position
Right before halftime, Seth Wilson found Kobe Johnson for a three-pointer to give West Virginia a 42-40 lead going into the break. In the second half, K-State outscored West Virginia 41-25 and controlled the rest of the game.
West Virginia now drops to 5-10 and has lost four of their last five games. The Mountaineers had a chance to get back in the win column but squandered it with poor play in the second frame. Kansas State adjusted at halftime and was able to control the paint on both ends of the floor.
Slazinski Fading Away
WVU F Quinn Slazinski had a great start to the year, upping his numbers from his play at Iona. In his first nine games, Slazinski averaged 17.0 points on 44% shooting from the field. Once RaeQuan Battle, Kerr Kriisa and Noah Farrakhan all returned to the floor, Slazinski’s shot opportunities decreased. The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 8.8 points on 32% shooting in the previous five games.
Slazinski was benched by interim HC Josh Eilert, who threw in sophomore forward Josiah Harris in his place.
“There’s no secret that Quinn was struggling to make shots. I thought him with a different lineup off the bench would give him a spark,” Eilert said following the game.
Slazinski needs the ball to facilitate but so does Kriisa, Battle and Farrakhan.
Still No Team Identity with New Group
Through five games with a new rotation, WVU has yet to find its team identity. West Virginia appears to be lost on offense with many isolation players and completely lost on defensive communication. When Slazinski and Edwards were leading the team at the beginning of the year, that group slowly found a team identity of playing slow and smart, trying to beat teams that way. Factor in Kriisa, Battle and Farrakhan, who have increased the pace of play, now WVU has to find its identity again with everyone taking new roles.
Once Edwards comes back from his fractured wrist, the team may have to find another identity as West Virginia will have a great paint presence again.
WVU Basketball will host No. 25 Texas next on Saturday night.
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