The NCAA tournament is a goal every team strives for at the beginning of the year. With five games left in the season, the Mountaineers have a chance to make a strong case to go dancing. The stretch run starts with a home game Saturday, against the 17-11 Baylor Bears in the WVU Coliseum. WVU are coming off a tough loss at Texas, and have had plenty of time to regroup and focus for their next opponent.
Staten says the team feels "rejuvenated" heading into Saturday's game.
“We’ve been able to get off our feet a little bit, sit back and reflect on the season so far, and what we need to do moving forward, and what we need to do in order to get ready for these next games,” said Juwan Staten about the long off week. “It’s done a lot for us, we’ve had a lot of quick turnarounds,” he added, “We haven’t had much time to just sit down and kind of relax, and take care of some of our injuries. But I mean it’s been great for us; we’re rejuvenated, and ready to start playing again.”
Rest is something Staten hasn’t seen much of this year, and looking back to just a couple weeks ago it hasn’t helped. After beating Oklahoma on February 10th, the Mountaineers waited five days to go into Austin, and the results weren’t favorable.
“I don’t know until we play and see how it help us,” said Eron Harris about all of the extra rest this week. To beat the Baylor Bears, Harris knows that the Texas game and everything else this season has to be put behind them and forgotten about. “Every game I say let’s put it in the past, that’s been my motto. So I’m not even thinking about the Texas game right now.”
When it comes to their opponent; the Baylor Bears are coming into Morgantown with a three game winning streak, and looking like the team they were supposed to be all year. “We know that they’re gonna play inside, out. They have two great big men, we know that we’ll defiantly have to defend them if we’re gonna have a chance, we know we need to shot the ball great because they’re gonna play zone for at least 35 minutes. Just taking care of those things, knowing where we’re at on defense, making sure we’re guarding as a team, and making sure we’re prepared against the zone,” said Staten about the Bears.
Good news for the Mountaineers is they won their first meeting in Waco, 66-64, which was the first of a season high three game winning streak.
“All I know is that we won the game, I know our game plan is usually to penetrate and kick and rebound. So were gonna stress that game plan, and defense of course,” said Harris on WVU’s game plan Saturday.
WVU has been great at home and Harris believes he knows the reason. “The help of the people that cheer us on. When they cheer us on we get an energy boost, and we get a confidence boost. We’re able to do more things.”