Hinds Excited To Play Up-Tempo Game This Season - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Hinds Excited To Play Up-Tempo Game This Season

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia University basketball fans should notice a big different in this year's Mountaineers.

Sure, the people have changed. Gone are Forward Kevin Jones and Guard Truck Bryant. New players include Center Aaric Murray and Guard Juwan Staten, both of whom were in Morgantown last year but had to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules. Also added to this year's team are former Boston College Guard Matt Humphrey and freshmen guards Eron Harris, Terry Henderson and walk-on Richard Romeo.

While the people have changed, the style of play is also expected to be different.

WVU spent a lot of time working out of half-court offensive sets. The coaches are already telling the players they better be ready to run the floor more and be looking for fast breaks.

"I'm real excited about that and playing an up-tempo game and just getting the ball and go," Hinds said.

Guards are trained to do that, but the difference should be in some of the forwards pulling down rebounds and taking the ball up the floor themselves. That will allow some of the athletic players like Hinds to use their speed to get ahead of the defense.

"It's going to help us a lot," Hinds said. "We got a lot of athletic guys on the team, so we should do well with that."

Hinds is playing an up-tempo style of basketball in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am Summer League. So far, it appears to be fitting him well. Hinds scored 17 points in his first game of the Summer League and followed that up by scoring 27 points in his second game.

Hinds is working on more than just running the floor. He understands his jump shot must improve and he says he wants to develop a better pull-up jumper.

"I need to work on my jump shot," Hinds stated. "I spend about an hour and a half everyday putting up shots. We have a gun that we can do spot shooting off the gun."

The gun Hinds is referring to is similar to a pitching machine. There is a big net that rebounds the ball and funnels it into a machine that passes the ball back to the player and allows them to take more shots in a shorter period of time. That is one of the added perks of the new practice facility, which the players are definitely enjoying.

"That practice facility is the best thing for us right now," Hinds said with a smile. "Class is over before noon, we can go do weights and then we are free. The practice facility helps you any time you want. You can go in any time you want and do what you want."

Hinds has added some weight and some strength in the upper part of his body since he arrived in Morgantown last August. He arrived weighing 165 pounds and is now up to 180 pounds. That added strength should help him withstand contact when driving to the basket and add to the potential for three-point plays.

The biggest difference for Hinds is having his freshman season behind him. He acknowledges that he arrived in college without a full understanding of what to expect. That has changed and should translate into more success his sophomore year.

"I think we are going to be real prepared because we will know what is coming," Hinds said. "Last year we went into every game expecting nothing and just going out there playing. Now we know what to expect."

Hinds will continue to work on his jumper and pushing the ball up the floor throughout the remainder of the summer league and in open gym.

Head Coach Bob Huggins has made it clear in the past that typically teams that score more easy baskets, like those in transition, will win the game. It sounds like WVU will make more of an effort to win that statistic this season and Hinds should be right in the middle of that effort.

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