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Author Archives: Mitch Vingle

Sifting through WVU basketball stats; recruiting news

Sifting through WVU basketball stats; recruiting news

As TV character Jethro Bodine once famously said, I may not know new math, but I sure know how to cipher. (Jed Clampett in reply: “If brains was lard, Jethro couldn’t grease a pan.”)

So I put pen to paper and exercised my “goes intos” regarding this WVU men’s basketball team.

While the Mountaineers, now ranked No. 14 in both polls, can be so good, they can also be as tough to figure as abstract algebra – especially on the road. After the latest road loss, this one at Oklahoma, coach Bob Huggins unloaded on his young team. “Have you heard about youthful exuberance?” he asked. “Did you see any exuberance?”

Yet exuberance aside, what’s happening on the road?

I sorted through some statistics.

What I found are many stats I believed to be telltales are indeed not.

Like steals. I figured when WVU’s players are, well, exuberant, they’d be more active on defense. But the Mountaineers are averaging 8 steals a game — on the dot, tied for 45thnationally. In victories, they are averaging 8. In losses, they are averaging 8. So there goes that theory.

3-point shooting? In losses, West Virginia is shooting 30.1 percent. Overall, it is shooting 30.3 percent.

I hear you screaming TURNOVERS! But, nope. In losses, WVU is averaging 15.6. Overall, it averages 14.7. In wins, it’s 14.3. So toss another miscue on the pile and there ya go.

OK, Mitch, but what about personal fouls – and the officiating? Again, not really. In losses, the Mountaineers are averaging 21.6 fouls. Overall, the number is 19.1 a game. In wins, the average is 18.4. So there’s a difference of three, but…

Even in regard to free throw accuracy, WVU is what it is: 63.8 percent in losses and 64.3 overall.

It simply boils down to – and you’re going to be so disappointed in this – WVU’s overall offense and defense.

We know when the Mountaineers are clicking defensively, they are almost unstoppable. Anaconda-like. In field goal percentage defense, they stand No. 3 nationally at 37 percent. In scoring defense, they are No. 19, allowing but an average of 61.7 points.

In defeat, though, WVU allows an average of 74.4 points. There’s a significant gap for you. And – get this – in victories, the Mountaineers are allowing an average of 58.1 points. That would place West Virginia No. 5 nationally right above Baylor, the top team in the polls.

Of course, the Mountaineers have struggled offensively all season and currently sit No. 131 in scoring offense, averaging 72.8 points.

In losses, though, WVU averages but 65.8 points. Again, a significant gap. Also, the Mountaineers average 74.7 points in victories – an even more significant gap.

So there’s your deep analysis for the day.

If you want an indicator of how West Virginia will fare in any particular game, check the scoreboard.

You’re welcome.

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And finally…

Many, many moons ago, yours truly worked in Pittsburgh and got to know high school writer extraordinaire Mike White of the Post-Gazette.

Recently, he put forth an article that may cause concern for WVU football fans. As White has chronicled, the number of major-college football recruits in Western Pennsylvania has been dwindling.

Then last week he reported only six players from the WPIAL or City League signed with Power 5 conference colleges.

Not good news for WVU – or Pitt, Penn State, etc. – that has long relied on the territory to fortify its roster.

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Mitch Vingle covered sports in West Virginia for 38 years. Follow Mitch on Twitter at @MitchVingle and be sure to check out the rest of Wheelhouse Creative’s website for your marketing and advertising needs. If interested, call us at 304-905-6005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Bowl MVP Mahomes, WVU and lessons learned

Super Bowl MVP Mahomes, WVU and lessons learned

I love a good epiphany. And since moving to Wheelhouse Creative, the state’s most creative marketing and advertising agency, I’ve had many – about the field, about life outside sports journalism. Like one experienced in regard to businesses with good products. I’ve seen so many companies with great products or services unrecognized or misunderstood. Businesses… Continue Reading

The reason Kobe Bryant’s death hits close to home in W.Va.

The reason Kobe Bryant’s death hits close to home in W.Va.

Natives of West Virginia are well aware “Mountain State connections” always seem to be present in national sports stories. It’s true so often, in fact, many joke about the phenomenon. But on this day no one is joking about those connections. No one is smiling. In fact, Jerry West, our favorite sports son, has been… Continue Reading

Huggins and the Hall of Fame; Big 12; XFL rules twists

Huggins and the Hall of Fame; Big 12; XFL rules twists

I’ve been writing about it for years. It’s time for WVU coach Bob Huggins to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Strike that. It’s way past time he be inducted. I’ve looked into it. I’ve prodded Mountaineer officials. I’ve explained the process. (There are screening committees. There is a Board of… Continue Reading

The timing of WVU’s significant financial sports agreement

The timing of WVU’s significant financial sports agreement

It’s sort of like a furiously unwrapped present that was then shoved out of sight, to the back of the Christmas tree. Yet a significant marketing agreement was unveiled this past Monday for WVU Athletics. Athletic director Shane Lyons and staff announced it will continue to work with Learfield IMG College for multimedia rights representation… Continue Reading

A final call on WVU’s football season, Neal Brown

A final call on WVU’s football season, Neal Brown

When shaping my final summation of WVU’s 2019 football season, I went old school. I researched. I looked at the big picture. What I found is Neal Brown and staff did a very nice job this past season. Let’s stop here though — because one could point to many numbers to dispute that. Like the… Continue Reading

A measured look at WVU’s football program

A measured look at WVU’s football program

Of all that’s happened to WVU’s football team this season, the most surprising happened this past Saturday in Morgantown. In the first half, Texas Tech scored 35 points en route to a 38-17 win over the Mountaineers. Not to No. 10 Oklahoma. Nor to No. 12 Baylor. In fact, the Mountaineers seemingly took a step… Continue Reading

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