MORGANTOWN - Ask Matt Humphrey what it is that makes him think he will fit perfectly into West Virginia's basketball team and the answer would be a quick one.
He likes playing at a fast tempo - running up and down the floor and having the freedom to make things happen.
"That's what I've been doing my whole life,'' Humphrey said.
Strange, though, that he ended up at West Virginia to do that. After all, in recent seasons the Mountaineers have been anything but fast paced.
In fact, call them plodding, if you will. These have been WVU teams of late that relied almost entirely on defense to win, attempting to hold the Connecticuts and Syracuses of the world to 65 or 70 points in order to have a chance to score enough to win.
Running up and down the floor? Hardly.
But that's about to change. Coach Bob Huggins hopes that by the time WVU opens the season in just over two weeks, his once-plodding team more resembles racehorses. Thanks in part to guys like Humphrey, it just might.
"I like the way Coach Huggs is allowing us to get up and down the floor and play a lot more than he has in the past with different teams,'' Humphrey said. "It's something I'm comfortable with because I have a lot of opportunities to make shots and make plays.
"That's a big reason why I came here. It's nothing I haven't seen in my journeys.''
Humphrey's journeys have been extensive.
The 6-foot-5 wing player went from high school in Chicago to Oregon for two seasons. He transferred to Boston College and sat out a year, then played just one season for the Eagles.
Now, with diploma in hand (that's the reason he doesn't have to sit out another year) he's preparing to become perhaps the first player - or at least one of the very few - to play in half of the country's six power conferences.
"It's been long,'' Humphrey said. "I definitely didn't start out thinking I'd be at West Virginia one day.''
It's not that Humphrey hasn't had success along the way. He just hasn't had the kind of success he imagined.
During his two years at Oregon, he played in every game but the 12 he missed in the middle of his sophomore season because of a knee injury. He averaged 4.4 points as a freshman and 5.4 as a sophomore. He left there, in part, after Ernie Kent was fired after 8-23 and 16-16 seasons.
Humphrey landed at Boston College with new coach Steve Donahue and sat out a year as a transfer. Last season he led the Eagles in minutes and was second in scoring, averaging 10.3 points. But Donahue was in the middle of a rebuilding process and the style of play wasn't exactly up tempo.
Having earned his degree and with a year of eligibility remaining, why not uproot again? Humphrey didn't see himself getting any closer to achieving a dream of playing professionally while in a middling program (BC was 9-22 last season) that was in transition.
On the surface, it's hard to see anything but a basketball transient. But then when you look at the coaching change at Oregon, the transition going on at Boston College and the college degree already in hand, it's hard to fault Humphrey for his travels.