THE VIEWS from here:
The road is getting bumpier. Six of the 11 are away from the Coliseum. Syracuse is Saturday's opponent.
Talk, however, has already begun about the Mountaineers' magic number for at-large inclusion into the NCAA tournament.
As it stands, WVU is in fine shape. Before Tuesday evening's games, the Mountaineers were ranked anywhere from No. 11 to 13 in the mock Rating Percentage Indexes out there. The strength of schedule remains a solid No. 2.
At 15-5 overall and 5-2 in league play, all's well on the (Big) Eastern front. But what is the magic number? Eighteen wins? Nineteen? Twenty?
"I'd like to get to 26," WVU coach Bob Huggins said Tuesday. "Do that and you don't have to worry."
He refused to point to a number. ("I don't do that," he said.) Leading to the next stop: nationally recognized RPI whiz Jerry Palm.
"That's hard to answer," Palm said of WVU's magic number. "As long as [the Mountaineers] avoid bad losses, they'll be all right. But there's no magic number. It depends on what everyone else does around the country."
He warns against those "bad" losses, such as WVU's to Kent State. But he quickly pointed out the Mountaineers have "good" wins to offset that.
The point: Don't get caught up in the magic number talk. If WVU wins four in a row then loses seven straight, 19 won't cut it.
I'll go a step beyond.
Not only should Jones be considered as the Big East's player of the year and a first-team All-America selection, he should be looked upon as the front-runner for the national player of the year award.