Senior Leaders Ready to Step Up on the Court - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Senior Leaders Ready to Step Up on the Court

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MORGANTOWN -

 

To call the WVU men's basketball team a young team would be an understatement. Of the 11 players on the roster that can play this season, just four of them are juniors or seniors. The rest are all freshmen.

Seniors are frequently looked to as the leaders on a team. Both Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant are embracing that responsibility.

"It's different because we were always the young guys hearing ‘you don't know this play?' Bryant said. "That's what they would say to us, but now we are telling them where to go after we just ran it seven times."

"It was just a maturing process last year," Jones said. "I think I did a better job with it towards the end of the year. I found out a lot of things about myself."

Jones was viewed as the clear target by many teams a year ago. He was frequently double-teamed and had a rough start to the year. That experienced helped him understand what to expect this season.

"I want to expand my game and be the best player I can be." Jones said. "If that is passing the ball and not being a selfish player and not taking bad shots, which I was at times, then that's what I have to do."

Jones is the kind of player who tries to lead by example. He understands that he must also become more of a vocal leader this season, which requires walking a fine line with the younger players.

"There is a very fine line," Jones stated. "You obviously want to go out there and encourage everybody, but at the same time you can only wait so long for somebody to come through before you have to turn on another switch and be a whole different person. I'm willing to do that this year."

"He's definitely getting there," Bryant said. "If we're having a bad practice, I'm mad and he will bring everyone in tell them what we need to do. I think KJ is being a lot more vocal than he was in the past and that is something we are going to need him to do.

It is hard to know exactly what to expect out of this team. There is a major unknown regarding the seven freshmen. How will they perform? How quickly will they adjust to the college game? Every player is optimistic at the beginning of the season. Kevin Jones has high expectations for this newest group of Mountaineers.

"I think this team has more talent than my sophomore year when we went to the Final Four. I'm not saying we will accomplish the things that my sophomore team did with a Final Four and Big East championship. We have more overall talent this year and that team was a special team and we went through ups and downs that year to get where we were. We're not going to be perfect obviously, but we're going to play hard every game."

Jones and Bryant have a difficult task trying to lead such a young team. But, if successful, their leadership could be felt for more than just this one season.

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