Jones, Kilicli Sit Most of First Half - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Jones, Kilicli Sit Most of First Half



West Virginia University Head Coach Bob Huggins says he needs two of the following three players to play well in any given game for his team to have a chance to win. Seniors Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant along with Junior Deniz Kilicli are tasked with leading the way on this young team.

Two of the three of them failed to do their jobs in the first half against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Jones and Kilicli combined to play just 11 minutes and scored a combined total of just six points in that half.

"It is kind of frustrating when that happens," Jones said. "Because you see a team out there struggling and you want to help them out so much. But you can only watch from the bench until the second half."

"I wasn't playing good so Huggs pulled me out and said you are not getting in," Kilicli said. "He thought I got the point and at one point in the second half said go."

Jones and Kilicli both returned in the second half and made their presence felt. They combined to score 29 points in that half and helped the Mountaineers stretch a four-point lead at the half to a lead of 20 points. Jones went through an outburst early in the half where he scored eight straight points.

"I just wanted to come out and set an example for my teammates and set an example for just playing hard and what coach expects every time we are out there playing on the floor," Jones said. "I sat out basically the whole first half and was fresh and just wanted to come out with as much energy as possible."

Jones finished with 22 points and eight rebounds in the game. Kilicli played much more aggressively in the second half. He went straight to the rim and tried to make poster quality dunks. He missed, but got fouled on both of those attempts. Kilicli finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

"Personally for myself, I didn't like what I did [in the first half]," Kilicli said. "I could have done that the whole game. That is what I am trying to do is work on consistency."

Jones and Kilicli along with Bryant are expected to be leaders. One of the three will likely be the leading scorer on any given night. They are also expected to lead by example.

"[Coach Huggins] expects us to go out there and lead these guys," Jones said. "We didn't do a good job of that today. They weren't focused coming out in the first half. Me, Deniz and Truck have to be the leaders and make sure these guys are ready to play every night and we didn't really do a good job of that today, but we will do a better job Monday."

WVU returns to action Monday night against Tennessee Tech. If Kevin Jones says he will do a better job of making sure his teammates are ready to play, then there is a pretty good chance they will.

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