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Bulls Recon: The Smoking Musket Talks West Virginia Basketball

WVUIE97 from The Smoking Musket was nice enough to do a quick Q&A before tomorrow's game between USF and West Virginia. We talked about the Marshall game, West Virginia's new basketball jerseys, and of course Big East expansion.


1. What happened with the Marshall game?

It was a perfect storm really: WVU is their Super Bowl, World Series Game 7 and World Cup Final all rolled into one and they have a new coach that knows us well and we got down early, thankfully they gave the ball to a true freshman in the red-zone, he fumbled and Geno leads us to two 90+ yard scoring drives to force overtime where we eked one out.  Oh, you meant basketball this past Wednesday.

Well, our #9 ranked ladies held Marshall to a record low 21 points. No?  You want the story on the men's game?  If I have to...the perfect storm sentence does hold true up to the freshman fumble part.  Yes, the officiating was bad, really bad, but bad both ways.  For some reason, WVU always seems to have trouble in that building (neutral court in the state capital), be it the lighting, the seemingly dead rims or whatever.  Marshall played under the same circumstances, so that's not it.  In reality, long story short, this game was huge to Marshall and not to WVU and WVU isn't as talented as it was the last two years and wasn't ready to play.  Our own 5th Year Senior has another theory.

2. What do you think of the new Nike basketball jerseys?

I'm generally a fan of the things Nike has done over the years, but the graphics on the Hyper Elite jerseys is one that I've never taken a liking to.  But, compared to the other versions I've seen (namely Duke and Kentucky), I do like ours, comparatively speaking.  In other words, it could have been much worse.

3. Did you expect Casey Mitchell to improve as much as he has?

He's always had the ability to score in spurts, but his defense was so infuriating to Huggins that he wouldn't get the chance to be on the floor long enough for those spurts to occur.  Even so, he still has a tendency to disappear from time to time.  The inconsistency of this entire team this year is very frustrating.

4. How has Jonnie West done following in his father's footsteps?

Jonnie has a role on the team and he does that well.  He fills some minutes when needed and provides a deep ball threat at key times as well.  Everybody knows that he's not his dad and no one expected him to be.  West had already graduated and wasn't going to come back for his last year of eligibility (some say it was to let Huggs use his scholarship slot for another possible big recruit).  Some weird things happened with this past year's recruiting class and Huggs was short on bodies at the guard position, so he talked Jonnie into coming back.

5. For the brave USF fans making the trip up to WVU, where should we stop for a bite to eat?

For a pure restaurant, you can't beat Oliverio's Ristorante in the Waterfront district.  It's excellent Italian food in a nice atmosphere.  If you want more sports bar type fare, you can't go wrong at Kegler's.  They have a wide selection of beers, great food (they consistently win the best wings award) and some of the best looking waitresses around.

6. We've been asking our fellow Big East blogs about expansion. What are your thoughts on it?

I'm a big fan of the TCU move.  I think they'll bring a lot to the table, especially where the Big East needs it most...on the gridiron.  Plus, I had the chance to meet their AD, Chris Del Conte, and I came away a fan (if you close your eyes and listen, he's Ric Flair).  As far as future expansion (and I know you guys aren't exactly crazy about this) I say you almost have to go with UCF at this point.  Villanova is dragging this out and they have way too much to do in order to make the move.  Plus, Philly doesn't care about college football.

7. How much are you going to beat us by Sunday?

After Wednesday's debacle, I'll be satisfied to win by one.


Thanks to WVUIE97 for taking time to do this over the weekend. You can check here to see my answers to his questions. Also, make sure to follow The Smoking Musket and WVUIE97 on Twitter