2006 West Virginia Mountaineers Basketball Preview
2006 West Virginia Mountaineers Basketball Predictions
Pittsnogle (19.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.2 BPG) is gone. That “sigh” you heard came from the 15 other teams in the Big East. Along with the departure of the elusive center, the Mountaineers saw four other key seniors graduate. It’s time to rebuild.
Junior Darris Nichols (3.1 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 38.4 FG%, 81.8 FT%) will assume the point guard duties after being a role player his first two years. As the designated team leader, he’ll certainly have more responsibility. He’s got speed, quickness and a fine shot; he needs to be more assertive in his new role. Freshmen guards Devan Bawinkel, Da’Sean Butler and Joe Mazzulla will all probably see action immediately.
Forward Frank Young (7.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 40.8 FG%, 66.7 FT%) started last season, which means he’s “Mr. Experience” on this team. Solid play, leadership and mentoring will be needed from him. At center, it looks like junior transfer Jamie Smalligan, who sat out last season, will start and try to fill Pittsnogle’s shoes. He’s 7’ 0” and 255-pounds, which means if he uses his body properly, he’ll be a lot to handle. He’s got a good outside shot. Sophomore Alex Ruoff (1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.2 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 FT%), who showed strength off the bench, will start at the other forward spot.
John Beilein (22- 11 overall, 11- 5 Big East; 77- 49 in 4 years at West Virginia) is considered to be one of the premiere coaches in college basketball. This rebuilding effort will test his true value and mettle. He’s got all of the ingredients from which he can fashion a superb team. If he manages to get these guys running on all cylinders this season, he’s not a great coach, he’s a miracle worker.
Don’t look for West Virginia to finish third, fourth or even fifth in the Big East. In fact, they probably won’t even make the Big East Tournament, the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. Stacked with talented freshmen and with only one senior, this team will need to find itself in 2006- 07.
If you want more info on the 2006 West Virginia Mountaineers College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check out some rival previews from Maddux Sports of schools like the St. John’s Red Storm and Providence Friars.