Remi Dibo Learns What it Takes to Succeed at WVU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Remi Dibo Learns What it Takes to Succeed at WVU

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MORGANTOWN -

Remi Dibo had been relegated to the role of a cheerleader for West Virginia.

He won't admit it, and no, he did not sport the uniform that is typically associated with the folks doing stunts along the baseline during a basketball game, but Dibo was so far from the coaches' minds that his biggest impact came in yelling from the bench.

Just over three weeks ago, the junior forward sat there for all 40 minutes while his teammates took care of Texas Tech at home on the way to an 87-81 win. That game, he could be heard shouting words of encouragement and any time one of his teammates' shots fell, he was giving the loudest ovation of anyone in the building.

Three games later, he was starting.

On Monday, his career-high 20 points was the most anyone scored in a blowout victory over No. 11 Iowa State as West Virginia seemed to fire at will against one of the nation's top scoring attacks.

As was the case earlier in the season when Brandon Watkins went from sitting for an entire game to winning the Capital Classic's Most Outstanding Player, Bob Huggins says Dibo's turnaround has been all about his work ethic in practice. In fact, with Dibo, it extends beyond practice.

"When you get in the gym and you get a lot of shots up, your chance for success increases dramatically," said Huggins. "The first guy in the gym when I walked in on Sunday was Remi and the last guy to leave was Remi. The last one to leave shoot around [on Monday] was Remi.

"I guess it doesn't guarantee success, but it sure gives you a better chance."

Dibo came to WVU this year after a stint at Casper College, where he averaged 18.2 points per game in the 2012-13 season. He is one of four first-year players for West Virginia who get playing time and although he is not a freshman, he is still learning what it takes to compete on this level with athletes who he rarely came across out in Wyoming.

"You make as many changes as freshmen have to make, but you're older so you're probably more mature and apt to making those changes," WVU assistant coach Erik Martin said of Dibo's transition from junior college to Division-I. "He's had his good part of the year and his bad part, but what I've tried to tell him is don't let your offensive game determine whether you have a good game or not. There are other facets to the game – defense, rebounding, hustle."

Dibo has shown improvement in every aspect, but not to the point where he can be consistently relied on in a close contest. Even against Iowa State, he ultimately fouled out.

Just two days before he knocked down 6-of-8 3-pointers to rout the Cyclones, Dibo was about as cold as he could get in WVU's 83-69 loss at Kansas. He shot just 1-of-7 from behind the arc, scoring on two buckets all game on his way to seven points.

Huggins and Martin will tell you that upon reviewing the tape, they know Dibo's misses came on the very same shots that he took and made Monday night.

"I was really hard on myself after the Kansas game," said Dibo. "I was really disappointed in my performance. I felt confident in the shots I was taking and not seeing them going in was really hurtful and I had to just go in with a chip on my shoulder on Monday and I felt like I did the right thing."

It all comes back around to this idea that as much as the coaches will work with a player, he must still put in work on his own. The staff cannot sufficiently teach an entire scouting report before each game if the athlete won't take the time to review the film on his own.

The same goes for the work that needs to occur in the gym. It may have taken longer than Huggins wanted, but Dibo has begun to realize what he must do in order to find real, consistent success.

"I think the one thing that I finally understand really good about this program is that there's only so much that they can do for us," Dibo said of his coaches. "They're doing everything they can by teaching me the stuff that I have to do, what can make me better, and it's on my own to become the best player I can be and feel comfortable on the court."

Dibo has done just that and the results are shown in four-straight starts for the Mountaineers.

"So far, I've been able to get good playing time, but that's not what I'm looking for," said Dibo. "I'm just looking to win, so I'm going to do whatever I can to help my team win." 

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You can see more from Remi Dibo on this week's episode of The Bob Huggins Show airing locally on your West Virginia Media Station as well as right here on wvillustrated.com starting at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. 

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