Confident Gary Browne Gives WVU New Life in Win - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Confident Gary Browne Gives WVU New Life in Win


It turns out that in West Virginia's time of desperation, in the face of defeat, a backup freshman point guard may be just the answer the Mountaineers need.

As time wound down in a three-point game, Gary Browne got the offense in motion to run the play that would determine whether or not the game went on.

He wasn't the first option on the play and he likely wasn't the second or third. But when his other options looked somewhat less than promising, he took it upon himself to get the job done.

"When I was in Puerto Rico, I always used to take that shot and I was confident," says Browne. "But this time, I've got K.J., I've got Deniz and I've got Truck first option, so if there isn't anything open, I've got to step up like I said and make the shot. This time, it was my time to step up again and I did a great job."

His coaches and teammates would agree with that assessment, but it wasn't like this was any real surprise.

Browne had a similar opportunity earlier this season in Las Vegas when he handled the ball facing a three-point deficit. Both times, he tried to draw a foul before ultimately firing away.

Both times, he found the bottom of the net.

"You have one chance to show your teammates that they can have confidence in you, so I have two shots to make it and I did," says the freshman.

On the other end, Cincinnati's Dion Dixon missed a layup that could have put the score back in the visitors' favor but Keaton Miles gathered the rebound and got the ball to Truck Bryant.

Time to run out the clock, right?

Not so fast. Bryant lost control of the ball and as the fight on the floor unfolded, Kevin Jones stood by trying to call a timeout that WVU didn't have.  Had it been recognized by the official, it would have been a technical foul and the Bearcats would be at the line to essentially seal the game.

"Truck came over and told me we don't have any timeouts and Coach said that to me and I just got wrapped up in the game and that was the first thing that came to mind when I saw Truck on the floor with the ball," says Jones.

So just seconds after a true freshman did his job better than it had even been drawn up, the senior leader nearly put the Mountaineers in position to give it all away.

Instead, they got to overtime and a three-point win.

"So happy, man," Jones said after the game. "I wouldn't have been able to sleep if that would have happened and I'm just so fortunate that it didn't happen for my  teammates and I'm just glad we came out with a win."

Normally Jones would be the one the team puts its confidence in to make the right decision and execute the key play to lead West Virginia to a victory, but on Saturday, Browne relished in that role.

"Gary's taken big shots for us before, so it's nothing new and we were there definitely to rebound and pick up any miss just in case he missed it," says Jones. "He has a lot of confidence in himself and we've seen him make big shots, so I definitely had confidence when he put it up."

Browne certainly has room left to grow and he will be the first to tell you so. He averages the fifth-most minutes per game of anyone on the team, so even though he doesn't have a career start to his name, it's obvious just how much is expected of him.

On a weekend when his high school team, Arlington Country Day, was in town for the Mountaineer Showcase, Browne showed up and showed off.  

And West Virginia needed every bit of it.

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