THE VIEWS from here:
Let's face it, this band is fortunate to get into the NCAA tournament. In a year with less parity, it would not be in the field.
But, hey, it's time for the Mountaineers to forget the parity and just party at the Big Dance. Time to cut loose on the court.
The thought from here all season is if WVU coach Bob Huggins could get this quirky team into the NCAA tournament, it would serve the program well for the next couple of seasons.
If the (now) six freshmen could just get a taste of the event, it would whet their appetites and provide experience. That would help because next season the Mountaineers add more experience in La Salle transfer Aaric Murray, a center, and Dayton transfer Juwan Staten, a point guard. They add a shooter in incoming freshman Terry Henderson.
Next season is when WVU's basketball program should start heating up again. This is gravy.
The bad news for WVU fans? The Mountaineers are 1-7 against the spread the last eight games in which they were favored.
It's amazing that, with 345 schools in 32 Division I basketball conferences, West Virginia has now made the Big Dance five straight seasons under the coach.
Think it isn't an accomplishment? Consider that successful ex-Mountaineer and current Michigan coach John Beilein's longest streak in Morgantown was two straight appearances. In 24 seasons, ex-WVU coach Gale Catlett's longest streak was three from 1982-84.
One has to go all the way back to when Fred Schaus took the Mountaineers to six straight in 1955-60 to see Huggins' feat equaled. And, yes, Schaus had the help of a player named Jerry West.
The answer is yes. Absolutely. In the same vein as Greg Jones, Lowes Moore, Joe Alexander, Da'Sean Butler, Kevin Pittsnogle and Mike Gansey, in my opinion. One has to consider that, as storied as the Mountaineer program is, there simply haven't been many individual stars.
Of the Mountaineers to move into the NBA, only one is certainly recognizable to current potential recruits: West. Perhaps you can add Devin Ebanks, now fourth on the Los Angeles Lakers depth chart at small forward behind Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes and Luke Walton.
Consider, though, West was in The League from 1961-74. Rod Thorn and Ron "Fritz" Williams played for seven years. After that? Not much. Hot Rod Hundley played from 1958-63, Schaus from 1950-54.
So, again, yes. Jones is certainly one of WVU's best ever.