West Virginia was able to hold off a young VCU team 78-66 and move onto the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic Championship round to face Western Kentucky. Below are three takeaways from yesterday's win.
Oscar MUST be stronger around the rim
In the first two games of the season, we really haven't seen Oscar Tshiebwe be dominant like we all know he can. He's going up against guys that are no where near as big, strong, and as athletic as him, yet he's had some issues on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he has to get back to banging his body around underneath and fight for better positioning. When he does get the ball, he doesn't have a great handle on it and will either turn it over or does go up strong with it like he did last season. He looks hesitant and for a guy with his talent, that should never be the case. Tshiebwe doesn't need to go for 20 and 10 every night, but he is capable of playing way better than what we've seen thus far.
Guard play could be a problem
Every year, teams get bounced from the NCAA Tournament because they just don't have enough at the guard position. As good as West Virginia is, this might become a big problem for them moving forward. Miles McBride played off the ball a good bit last year and with him moving into the starting lineup, he's being asked to handle more handling of the ball. Not that he can't do it, but he struggled against VCU's pressure yesterday and so did every other guard Huggins rolled out there. Huggins said in the postgame press conference that they really haven't worked on a press-breaker, so that could've played a factor in yesterday's sloppy ball-handling.
Culver is going to be more reliable than Tshiebwe
Derek Culver has been the more consistent player dating back to last year and honestly, that's the way it should be. He's been in the system a year longer and should have a better understanding of everything than Tshiebwe currently does. If West Virginia needs to attack the paint and get points, more often than not the play will be drawn up for Culver. He's more consistent, he's more reliable, he's more aggressive, and he's a tad better with the ball in his hands. This isn't a knock on Tshiebwe at all, but he is still growing before our eyes.
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the page's top righthand corner. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook - @WVUonSI