"I don't want to use the excuse of having a young team,'' Jones said after scoring 15 points and grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds Tuesday. "But there are some points where these guys play like upperclassmen and some points where they play like freshmen. We have to get it to the point where it's more consistent.''
Indeed, several of the freshmen have shown flashes that they will be able to develop quickly. Point guards Jabarie Hinds and Gary Browne each have had moments for brief stretches in which they played like veterans. Aaron Brown came off the bench and provided some instant offense for a brief time against Kent State. Keaton Miles has obviously been impressive enough in practice to earn starts in the first two games, but has yet to show much on the floor.
The hard part, though, is putting those performances together for an entire game and getting more than one of the newcomers at a time to do that.
"So many things can go wrong and they have for us,'' said Kilicli, who had 11 points and 15 rebounds Tuesday. "We have to keep working on them, not just the freshmen but all of us.''
As for Alcorn State, the Braves will be opening their season tonight, sort of. Last Saturday, Alcorn trounced Blue Mountain College, an NAIA school in Mississippi, 76-39. Blue Mountain considers the game an exhibition, but Alcorn State - which did not charge admission to the home game - now lists its record as 1-0.
The Braves are under first-year coach Luther Riley, a successful high school coach in Mississippi. Only four players return from a season ago, but one is Marquiz Baker, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard who was second in the SWAC in scoring a year ago at 15.9 points per game. Kendrick McDonald, a point guard, averaged 10.2 points per game.
Alcorn had five double-figure scorers in its game against Blue Mountain and four were by newcomers, including 17 points from 6-5 freshman guard JaMichael Hawkins.
BRIEFLY: It appears that prior to Jones and Kilicli on Tuesday, the last time two WVU players had as many as 15 rebounds each in the same game was 1978, when Maurice Robinson had 16 and Sid Bostick 15 in a win over Marshall at the Coliseum. That game was noteworthy in that it was the first between the teams in nearly 50 years.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.