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Three Takeaways from WVU’s Gold-Blue Debut Scrimmage

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West Virginia men’s basketball played in front of the public for the first time for the 2022-23 season on Friday night. The gold team defeated the blue team 37-31 behind Mohamed Wague and Jamel King scoring in double-figures.

Emmitt Mathews (shoulder), Tre Mitchell (foot) and Patrick Suemnick (knee) did not participate in the scrimmage. Despite it being a scrimmage, here are three things to take away from the dose of basketball.

Joe Toussaint Pickup Will Go a Long Way

WVU’s coaching staff picked up Toussaint over the offseason to help facilitate the offense. At Iowa, Toussaint posted a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio for the Hawkeyes. Friday night, Toussaint had five assists and one turnover. His ability to drive into the paint and kick it out to an open shooter seemed easy. The Mountaineers haven’t had a traditional point guard in a while and the pickup of Toussaint will go a long way this season.

Defense Looks Improved, More Heart

For a scrimmage event, the defense hustled for loose balls and fought for many deflections throughout the night. It could’ve been Erik Stevenson hustling to block a layup from behind against the backboard or big man Jimmy Bell diving on the floor to save the possession.

Toussaint, Wague and Kedrian Johnson each had two steals while Stevenson had three blocks. Overall the team’s effort on defense was promising.

Perimeter Shooting Concerning Early

As an entire team, the Mountaineers shot 8-of-27 from three in the scrimmage. King, Kedrian Johnson and Seth Wilson each connected on multiple threes. Stevenson’s only three was in transition and looked clean.

Going into the event, people had their concerns about the perimeter scoring. It’s early but could be an issue to look out for this season.

West Virginia will play Dayton next Saturday in a closed scrimmage before hosting Bowling Green in a public exhibition game on Friday, Oct. 28.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. Ethan has covered WVU men’s basketball, football and recruiting for the past two years. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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