If first impressions are what people suggest they are, then the 2019-20 WVU Hoops squad knocked theirs out of the park with a 97-66 victory over the Madrid All-Stars. Huggs effort to “Make WVU Hoops Great Again” got its first test on its Spanish tour in the city of Madrid. The team looked exactly the way you’d hope a rebuilding squad to look: cohesive, athletic, energetic though imperfect.
The team was lead in scoring by Emmitt Mathews who had 17 points. He’s clearly a larger man than he was last year and it showed on the court. Harler didn’t overwhelm statistically but could be heard leading the team verbally and by example. A bulked up Jordan McCabe looked bigger, stronger, and more comfortable when WVU morphed into “Press Virginia.” The already impressive Derek Culver appeared more polished and smooth while maintaining his brute, physical play. Newcomer Miles McBride was arguably the most athletic guy in the gym, save for yours truly (this is a joke), at all times. And transfer Sean McNeil’s jumper was as wet and consistent as advertised.
While WVU dominated, they were not perfect. Turnovers continue to be an issue as does miscommunications and rebounding. One of those things will be helped greatly when the Big O is on the court. The other two will take time and practice.
This group looks promising. REALLY promising. But first impressions aren’t everything...Just the beginning.