ESPN Analysts Breakdown Press Virginia, Postseason - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

ESPN Analysts Breakdown Press Virginia, Postseason

Posted:
WVU enters the postseason with a 24-7 overall record. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle) WVU enters the postseason with a 24-7 overall record. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)
KANSAS CITY -

Over the course of the college basketball season, as part of The Bob Huggins Show, we have invited some of the visiting national media to give us a breakdown of the WVU men’s basketball team based on their research for the broadcast.

Fran Fraschilla, Andy Katz and Dick Vitale each joined us on the program and shared their thoughts on the Mountaineers. Much of the conversation focused on the start of the postseason and how a team like “Press Virginia” can cause headaches for opponents who are unfamiliar with its brand of basketball – especially on short rest.

We have cobbled together some of what these three ESPN college basketball analysts had to say about Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers as West Virginia begins tournament play this week out in Kansas City.

ANDY KATZ

On how “Press Virginia” can find success in the NCAA Tournament:

“Second game of the weekend. That’s where West Virginia has a huge advantage. Game 1, whoever they’re playing, they’ve got four or five days to try to simulate it. Not easy. But it’s that quick turnaround. I was talking to Coach Scott Drew about it when they got blitzed here, he was saying it was their quick turnaround from the previous game to this game and they just weren’t prepared for it. I think that’s where they hold the advantage. Win that first one on the Thursday or Friday and then on Saturday or Sunday, whether it’s the first weekend or the second, that’s when West Virginia can really cause problems.”

On Bob Huggins:

“I don’t think he’s been as appreciated as he should have been and really should be. Two Final Fours with two different programs, really built up Cincinnati… He is a Hall of Famer. I think ultimately he will be in the Hall of Fame and really has also changed lives. A lot of coaches talk like that and sometimes as a report, you buy in, sometimes you don’t, but I really do believe that it’s not that he commands the loyalty, but that the players really want to give to him what he gives to them. You can really see how much his players will fight for him and will come back for him. I’d say there is a little bit of a parallel with Jim Calhoun at UConn. Very demanding, intense, but his players loved playing for him after the fact. They may not have loved him during it, but any time I went to an UConn event, living in the state, there are tons of players who come back and I think you’ll see the same thing with Bob Huggins. You’ve seen it with his Cincinnati players.”

On the strength of the Big 12 this season:

“It’s a little younger than it’s been. Kansas, Baylor and West Virginia, I think those three schools can go deep in the NCAA Tournament. I think Kansas can win it, not convinced the other two can. Outside of that, Iowa State, when their core is playing well, they’re a team that can make the second weekend. K-State, I think ultimately they have a chance to get in and then there are other schools that have … It may not be as strong, it still has at least three schools that can go deep in the NCAA Tournament.”

FRAN FRASCHILLA

On West Virginia’s team identity:

“I think this team’s DNA is about toughness and intensity and playing together. You really look at Coach Huggins’ roster, he can go 10, 11, 12 deep if necessary. That has to become an advantage in March. They’ve got to make it an advantage. It’s only an advantage if all 10, 11, 12 guys play with some ferocity. I don’t know if it was because of the mid-February, everybody’s played everybody in conference, everybody’s used to different styles of play, but I do think they lost that for a little bit. Now, as they come down the stretch, I think it’s important that they have the attention that they’ve shown much of this year. You look at this team and whatever it is, six losses, have all been close. They’re only maybe 15 plays from being undefeated. To me, that’s a positive.”

On how an unorthodox style of play translates to the postseason:

“I think it’s good for West Virginia. It’s an advantage. Last year, they played a team in Stephen F. Austin that was a unique team. A veteran team, really moved the ball well, the coach knew the DNA of the West Virginia team, Coach [Brad] Underwood. I still think in the long term, the way West Virginia plays is an advantage. Not just because of the press. They don’t take bad shots, they’re shooting the three better this year than they have the last few years and they have more weapons offensively. But again, in order for those to be advantages, the intensity level of this team has got to ratchet up the watch it has when they’ve been at their best this year. I’ll go back to that heartbreaking Kansas game last week. The bad news was they lost the lead. The good news was there are very few teams in college basketball that can be up 14 at Allen Fieldhouse with two and a half minutes to go. I think that’s a positive. This team is capable of beating teams like Kansas and Kansas is one of the best teams in the country.”

DICK VITALE

On West Virginia’s men’s basketball team:

“They’re really a very deep basketball team. They’ve got many people, you can’t just zero in on one guy. They really share the basketball well, you don’t know who is going to beat you. [Jevon] Carter is a terrific defensive player, but he has also improved his range as a shooter. Love [Nathan] Adrian. I mean, how can you not love that kid? He’s what I call an original glue kind of guy. He’s a guy that does it all.”

On how “Press Virginia” can find postseason success:

“They defend, the force turnovers – What’s there not to like? They play hard, they’re well coached, well drilled; a team that could be a major factor come tournament time. When teams don’t have that much time to prepare for them, they could be trouble for them because I’m telling you, that pressure can get to you.”

On Bob Huggins:

“He belongs in the Hall of Fame.”

  • BasketballMore>>

  • WVU Picked as Big 12 Runner-Up in Preseason Poll

    WVU Picked as Big 12 Runner-Up in Preseason Poll

    Thursday, October 19 2017 11:26 AM EDT2017-10-19 15:26:56 GMT
    WVU senior guard Jevon Carter and the Mountaineers are picked to finish 2nd in the Big 12 Preseason Poll. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU senior guard Jevon Carter and the Mountaineers are picked to finish 2nd in the Big 12 Preseason Poll. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The Big 12 Men's Basketball Preseason Poll was released and the Mountaineers are picked to finish as the conference runner-up.

    The Big 12 Men's Basketball Preseason Poll was released and the Mountaineers are picked to finish as the conference runner-up.

  • WATCH: Carey, Mountaineers Talk 2017-18 Expectations

    WATCH: Carey, Mountaineers Talk 2017-18 Expectations

    Thursday, October 5 2017 3:12 PM EDT2017-10-05 19:12:33 GMT
    Tynice Martin scores 30 points as WVU sets a school record for 3-pointers against Oklahoma State. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Tynice Martin scores 30 points as WVU sets a school record for 3-pointers against Oklahoma State. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The season is officially underway for the West Virginia University women's basketball team. Hear from Tynice Martin, Teana Muldrow, Kristina King and Coach Carey as they talk about expectations for the upcoming season.

    The season is officially underway for the West Virginia University women's basketball team. Hear from Tynice Martin, Teana Muldrow, Kristina King and Coach Carey as they talk about expectations for the upcoming season.

  • WATCH: 2017-18 Season Begins Friday for WVU Hoops

    WATCH: 2017-18 Season Begins Friday for WVU Hoops

    Thursday, September 28 2017 4:12 PM EDT2017-09-28 20:12:54 GMT
    Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Hear from Coach Huggins as the 2017-18 season begins on Friday for the WVU men's basketball team.

    Hear from Coach Huggins as the 2017-18 season begins on Friday for the WVU men's basketball team.

  • More SportsMore>>

  • WVU Soccer Settles for 1-1 draw against Texas Tech

    WVU Soccer Settles for 1-1 draw against Texas Tech

    WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-BrownWVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown
    Written by: Caroline Peters Morgantown, WV.-  Fans flooded the stadium dressed in blue and gold for tonight’s match between the No.6 ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team and Texas Tech. The Mountaineers tied for a final 1-1 (2OT) draw. “Texas Tech played us different,” Izzo-Brown added. “They were playing for the counter and played with a lot of numbers behind the ball. We have to stick with our routine and repetition, and we hav...
    Written by: Caroline Peters Morgantown, WV.-  Fans flooded the stadium dressed in blue and gold for tonight’s match between the No.6 ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team and Texas Tech. The Mountaineers tied for a final 1-1 (2OT) draw. “Texas Tech played us different,” Izzo-Brown added. “They were playing for the counter and played with a lot of numbers behind the ball. We have to stick with our routine and repetition, and we hav...
  • Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Monday, September 18 2017 1:34 PM EDT2017-09-18 17:34:43 GMT
    WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

  • Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Sunday, September 17 2017 10:32 AM EDT2017-09-17 14:32:13 GMT
    The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • GAME PREVIEW: No. 23 WVU Travels to Winless Baylor

    GAME PREVIEW: No. 23 WVU Travels to Winless Baylor

    Winners of four out of their last five games, the No. 23 West Virginia Mountaineers (4-2) enter this weekend in much better spirits than host Baylor (0-6).

    Winners of four out of their last five games, the No. 23 West Virginia Mountaineers (4-2) enter this weekend in much better spirits than host Baylor (0-6).

  • An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    An Inside Look: The Dana Holgorsen Show

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!  

    Get the inside scoop on this week’s Dana Holgorsen Show!  

  • WVU Football Recruiting Update

    WVU Football Recruiting Update

    Friday, October 20 2017 11:02 AM EDT2017-10-20 15:02:42 GMT
    WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

     WVU adds tight end pledge Offensive guard Blaine Scott committed to West Virginia on Thursday evening. Scott, a class of 2018 offensive guard from Sciotoville High School (Portsmouth, Ohio), is rated as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 28 player at the position.

     WVU adds tight end pledge Offensive guard Blaine Scott committed to West Virginia on Thursday evening. Scott, a class of 2018 offensive guard from Sciotoville High School (Portsmouth, Ohio), is rated as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 28 player at the position.

  • WVU Picked as Big 12 Runner-Up in Preseason Poll

    WVU Picked as Big 12 Runner-Up in Preseason Poll

    Thursday, October 19 2017 11:26 AM EDT2017-10-19 15:26:56 GMT
    WVU senior guard Jevon Carter and the Mountaineers are picked to finish 2nd in the Big 12 Preseason Poll. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU senior guard Jevon Carter and the Mountaineers are picked to finish 2nd in the Big 12 Preseason Poll. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The Big 12 Men's Basketball Preseason Poll was released and the Mountaineers are picked to finish as the conference runner-up.

    The Big 12 Men's Basketball Preseason Poll was released and the Mountaineers are picked to finish as the conference runner-up.

  • Pit bull wrongly blamed for killing livestock set free

    Pit bull wrongly blamed for killing livestock set free

    Thursday, October 19 2017 2:28 PM EDT2017-10-19 18:28:43 GMT

    A pit bull named Hank that was wrongfully blamed for killing livestock last year is now free.

    A pit bull named Hank that was wrongfully blamed for killing livestock last year is now free.

  • WVi Has Moved!

    WVi Has Moved!

    Friday, September 2 2011 1:45 PM EDT2011-09-02 17:45:05 GMT
    Don't worry, wvillustrated.com is still alive and well. WVi has upgraded to a brand new and improved website. Please check out http://www.wvillustrated.com/ We hope you enjoy the new WVi experience.
  • VIDEO INTERVIEWS: WVU Football Players and Assistants Talk Baylor

    VIDEO INTERVIEWS: WVU Football Players and Assistants Talk Baylor

    David Sills motions to an official as he lines up in a 56-34 win over Kansas. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)David Sills motions to an official as he lines up in a 56-34 win over Kansas. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Assistant Coaches and Players as they prepare to face Baylor.

    Watch full video interviews with West Virginia Football Assistant Coaches and Players as they prepare to face Baylor.

  • 2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule.