Indeed, the Mountaineers rely on a relentless man-to-man defense (allowing foes only 39.4% from the floor) and a jam-it-inside offense that has made 6'8" senior Darryl Prue and 6'6" sophomore Chris Brooks among the hottest shooting duos in the nation. Brooks is hitting 64% from the floor, Prue 63.9%.
The downside is that both Brooks and Prue are struggling at the line, each converting only around 40%. To keep opponents from exploiting Prue and Brooks at the end of close games, Catlett wants his team to feed guards Steve Berger and Herbie Brooks, both of whom are better than 78% from the foul line.
"This is the best team I've ever seen at West Virginia," says Duquesne's Jim Satalin, who's in his 16th season as a head coach. "They've got to be one of the top 10 or 12 teams in the country."
BIG DOINGS IN THE DOME
Even before televangelist Jimmy Swaggart's fall from grace, there were folks in Baton Rouge who swore that Swaggart was only the second-best preacher in town, after LSU basketball coach Dale Brown. Since going to LSU in 1972, Brown has done a remarkable job of selling roundball in football country. Yet not even Brown could have foreseen what transpired Saturday 80 miles down Interstate 10 in the Louisiana Super-dome. A crowd of 54,321—a regular-season college basketball record, larger than the 52,693 who watched Houston beat UCLA 71-69 in the Astrodome on Jan. 20, 1968—saw the Tigers upset Georgetown 82-80 on Ricky Blanton's follow shot at the buzzer.
Blanton's game-winner came after a Georgetown free throw by Charles Smith with 20 seconds left. The Tigers got the ball into the hands of Chris Jackson, the sensational 6'1" freshman guard whose 26 points led LSU, but he was triple-teamed and had to dish off to reserve guard Russell Grant. Grant's shot was tipped by the Hoyas' Alonzo Mourning, but Wayne Sims, who scored 24 in a strong effort, knocked the loose ball to Blanton, who shoveled it in.
While Georgetown coach John Thompson said the crowd wasn't nearly as distracting as a full house in a smaller arena, Brown chose to label the event "the greatest game I've ever been involved with." The reason? "I love Louisiana, and I think of what a wonderful recruiting advantage it will be," said Brown, no doubt hoping the national exposure might help him spread the gospel that with 7-footer Stanley Roberts—sitting out because of Proposition 48—set to join Jackson next season, the future looks super for at least one preacher man in Baton Rouge.
Last season Pitt's celebrated front line of Charles Smith, Jerome Lane and Demetreus Gore averaged 40.6 points and 24 rebounds a game. Their replacements—Brian Shorter, Bobby Martin and Darelle Porter—are averaging 40.6 points and 22.9 rebounds....
Our advice to coaches: Get yourself a Sanders. Jeff of Georgia Southern, Kenny of George Mason, Fernando of Monmouth ( N.J.), J.D. of Texas Tech, Robert Lee of Jacksonville ( Ala.) State, and, coming off the bench, Yamen of Central Michigan, have averaged a combined 103.7 points a game. The six Sanderses, who aren't related, might make quite a team. Only Loyola Marymount (109.7) and Oklahoma (109.5) are averaging more than 103.7 points this season.