CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Here's the book on Morgantown High's Nathan Adrian, the reasons West Virginia coach Bob Huggins offered him a scholarship:
He can shoot.
He's good on the perimeter.
Mountaineer fans who watched Adrian play in a loss to South Charleston Thursday night will have to keep that in mind, because Adrian didn't score 50 in a state tournament game like Herbie Brooks did before heading to Morgantown. He didn't score 45 like Pervires Green. Didn't hit for 43 like Jeff Schneider did before heading to Virginia Tech, or 41 like O.J. Mayo before going to USC.
Adrian had 17 rebounds and 17 points, but the latter was on 6-of-20 (30 percent) shooting. He had at least five missed bunnies. It was more along the lines of a Kevin Pittsnogle showing, who struggled at the Civic Center in 2001 before heading to WVU.
"Bad," was how Adrian described his Thursday evening. "There's no way I can shoot 6 of 20 and expect us to win."
"No," Adrian said. "That's not an excuse at all."
At times Adrian's evening was plain ugly, considering his height advantage on South Charleston's players. And he was 1 of 6 from 3-point range.
He did flash a nice handle at times on the perimeter. And perhaps, like Pittsnogle, he'll fare better in college, playing outside against taller opponents.
But the initial impression is Adrian needs to get stronger. He needs to control his emotions. And he just might need to redshirt a year in Morgantown.
When it comes to state tournaments, there always seems to be a Bullett in the chamber from the Eastern Panhandle.
And it seems we'll continue to hear from Don Bullett, who has been coaching Washington High, located in Charles Town. On Thursday, the Patriots won in their first state appearance in the five-year history of the school, defeating Parkersburg South's Patriots.
Bullett comes from a long line of standouts from Martinsburg. His sister Vicki is in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame after starring at the University of Maryland, the Olympics and the WNBA. His brother Scott played professional baseball with the Pittsburgh and Chicago organizations. Another brother, Matt, played basketball at Glenville State, as did Don. And brother Eddie's daughter Kiana played for Martinsburg High in last week's girls event.
Anyway, expect Washington and Don Bullett to continue making future waves. The panhandle is booming economically. Jefferson High was split, sending students from Charles Town and Harpers Ferry to WHS, and both are still Class AAA schools.
As for the Patriots basketball team, well, it has a chore in getting past Bullett's alma mater, Martinsburg. The Bulldogs have already beaten WHS three times this season.