Mountaineers look to keep Miles on track against Texas - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Mountaineers look to keep Miles on track against Texas

Posted:
Daxter Miles Jr. lines up against Texas during a WVU win in Austin. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle) Daxter Miles Jr. lines up against Texas during a WVU win in Austin. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)
KANSAS CITY -

Jevon Carter knows what makes Daxter Miles Jr. tick.

The two have been teammates now for three seasons, backcourt mates who began their careers learning from veterans before taking the reigns to guide West Virginia as sophomores.

When Miles is having a bad night, Carter knows it’s coming. When Miles is poised to break out, Carter senses it. Sometimes he doesn’t need intuition, because the formula for Miles’ success can be as simple as one play in a game.

“Once he gets a dunk,” Carter said. “Once he gets a dunk, the whole thing changes. Like Iowa State, he got that tip dunk early and he didn’t look back from there.”

If the key to a night like the one Miles just had against the Cyclones is no more complicated than ensuring he throws down a dunk, then maybe that play should be called on the first offensive possession.

“When Dax gets going, he’s that x-factor,” senior forward Brandon Watkins said of Miles. “He provides scoring, rebounding, as you saw, defense. When he gets going, he brings energy. He’s an energy guy. When we see him going hard like that, that makes everyone else want to play hard, too. If we can get him to play like that for the rest of the season, we’re going to be tough to beat.”

Miles is West Virginia’s fifth-leading scorer, but he also has two more 20-point performances on the season than anyone else in gold and blue.

Prior to Friday night against Iowa State, when Miles had 23 points, he last surpassed the mark way back on Jan. 7 in a match-up with TCU. Between those two outings, Miles was more likely score in single digits (10 times) than to reach at least 10 points (4).

“I felt like I’ve been letting my teammates down a few games, but I try not to think about that too much,” Miles said. “I can’t focus on the past. We gotta worry about the now so we can do great things coming up. We need more nights like this.”

The next time on the court will be against Texas, the No. 10 seed in the Big 12 Tournament and a team that West Virginia beat twice during the regular season. In those two games, Miles averaged 3.5 points in just 17 minutes on the court. He shot a combined 0-for-8 from 3-point range against the Longhorns.

West Virginia’s two wins over Texas have come by two points on the road and by 15 points at home when redshirt freshman Lamont West made six 3-pointers on his way to 23 points.

“They have size. Jarrett Allen is huge. Shaquille Cleare is huge. Just big guys that stand in there,” WVU big man Elijah Macon said of the Longhorns. “You’ve got to make them work. When we played there, we came out with a two-point win and at home, we got a little better at it, we attacked them a little more. I just feel like we need to watch those two games and take the good and the bad and just focus on the game and come out with the win.”

Bob Huggins did not go into much detail in his scouting report of the Longhorns, though he did note that no one else on the roster is “in that caliber” of the 6-foot-11 Allen, who leads Texas in both points (13.5) and rebounds (8.4) as a freshman.  

The Longhorns trailed No. 7 seed Texas Tech by 11 points with just over 10 minutes remaining in the opening round contest in Kansas City before putting together a comeback that would secure their place in the quarterfinal.

Texas outscored the Red Raiders 30-10 over the final 10:12, with Kerwin Roach Jr. and Andrew Jones leading the scoring down the stretch.

Excited about the opportunity to play them,” Texas Coach Shaka Smart said of the match-up with WVU. “One of the two teams that played just now was going to get the chance to play them and one of them was going to go home. So we'll definitely take the opportunity to play them.”

To a man, the Mountaineers have said the message since the regular season ended was to find a way to raise banners back home at the Coliseum. The first chance to do so awaits them inside the Sprint Center. Win three games, and one of those banners is on its way to Morgantown.

So, will Huggins be drawing up a dunk for Daxter Miles Jr. in Thursday night’s quarterfinal?

“Absolutely not,” Huggins deadpanned. “Every time I do it, he misses it.”

It could be worth giving just one more try.

  • BasketballMore>>

  • 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.

  • Esa Ahmad ineligible for half of WVU season

    Esa Ahmad ineligible for half of WVU season

    WVU forward Esa Ahmad is ineligible for the first half of the 2017-18 season. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVU forward Esa Ahmad is ineligible for the first half of the 2017-18 season. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Mountaineer forward failed to meet NCAA eligibility requirements, according to University release. 

    Mountaineer forward failed to meet NCAA eligibility requirements, according to University release. 

  • More SportsMore>>

  • 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.

  • No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    Sunday, September 10 2017 5:18 PM EDT2017-09-10 21:18:38 GMT
    Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.