WVU vs. Alcorn State Game Preview - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU vs. Alcorn State Game Preview

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MORGANTOWN -

Thursday night's game against Alcorn State is going to be interesting for West Virginia.

The Mountaineers are coming off an upset loss at home to Kent State, and seem to have a lot to improve on before they take on the Braves Thursday night.

WVU has a young team this year. With that, there will be mistakes and there will be growing pains. That was certainly the case in Tuesday morning's loss, when the Mountaineers beat themselves at times as much as the Golden Flashes beat them.

As a team, West Virginia shot just 16-for-28 from the free throw line, and committed costly turnovers throughout the game, especially in the second half when Kent State had taken the lead.

Bob Huggins said that he knows mistakes are going to happen, but he doesn't want the freshmen on the team to use their youth as an excuse.

"What I said to them in there was, ‘Are you freshmen, or are you players?,'" he said. "We played Truck (Bryant), KJ (Kevin Jones), and Dev (Devin Ebanks), and they were players. Nobody looked at them and said, ‘Oh well, they're freshmen.' They just looked at them as players."

That means that those freshmen will have to start working on their mistakes and putting together better performances during both practices and games. Their effort was questioned by their older teammates after the loss, so they will have something to prove against Alcorn State. It's important for them to learn from their mistakes in Tuesday's loss, but Bryant said the team now has to put that game behind them.

"This game's over with," he said. "We can't hold our hats on this one. We've got another game Thursday and we really just have to get back to the drawing board, get back to work, watch film tomorrow, practice, and get ready for our game on Thursday."

Thursday's game will be a great opportunity for the Mountaineers to bounce back. No team on any schedule should be taken lightly, but Alcorn State would appear to be one of the weakest teams WVU will play this season.

The Braves went just 4-24 last season and is experiencing a coaching change, bringing in Luther Riley to replace Larry Smith. They did win their only game of the year so far, beating NAIA member, Blue Mountain College.

This game will be mark the first time these two schools have ever played each other, and it comes at a great time for West Virginia.

Playing a game just two days after its last game makes it easier for WVU to forget about the loss and look ahead to the next opponent. Not only that, but it gives the Mountaineers a quick chance to get back on track.

Obviously, Huggins will be looking for improvement in the free throw shooting and turnovers, but will also look for his team to continue its success in rebounding. He was looking for them to get better in that area going into the Kent State game, and they did, out-rebounding them 46-31, but saw other areas of the game drop off.

He said after Tuesday's game that he can't fix everything at once. He fixed the rebounding, now he has other things to get corrected. He did, however, ensure that they would indeed get fixed.

And they're going to have to be fixed. The Mountaineers need to see improvement in their game against Alcorn State on Thursday night. First of all, they need to avoid the upset. Secondly, the schedule will only get tougher.

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