It's enough to go to a team's collective head, actually. But given the four senior starters and all that experience, Carey hopes his players will keep theirs.
"We have veteran players. They know what it's all about and they know what to expect from me in practice,'' Carey said. "I hear them all the time saying, 'We'd better pick it up.' Because they know what's coming if they don't do it.
"And if they don't get it out on the court, they'll get it because once we watch film they'll understand. It doesn't lie. I can stand here and say whatever I want and scream all I can. But when they watch film, there's no black and white. It's not my opinion anymore. It's right there to see.''
So what does Carey think of all the high expectations for his team?
"Well, I think we have a chance to be good because we have a lot of people back that went through it last year,'' Carey said. "But again, we've got to prove that we're good. And the good thing about that is we're going to be able to do that early in the year. We're going to be tested early.''
That would be in a tournament in the Virgin Islands, where West Virginia will play No. 23 TCU, Virginia and No. 20 Iowa State. Once Big East play begins, there are Top 15 teams Notre Dame, Georgetown and St. John's, as well as the Feb. 8 home game with Darth Vader and the Death Star (aka UConn).
Hopefully by that time nothing will have gone wrong.
"You've got to be lucky, too,'' Carey said. "It's like right now. I've got Sarah out [with a wrist injury], I've got Korinne Campbell out [ankle], Dunning was out for a while. If that happens in the middle of the season, now you're in trouble. I think last year was the first year since I've been here that we didn't have a major injury.''
Still, when Miles missed last week's exhibition, true freshman Brooke Hampton stepped in and had 11 assists. How's that for depth?
It's just one more reason for West Virginia to be optimistic. And for Carey to keep turning up the heat if they get too comfortable.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.