Roll Out the Carpet

Staff Writer
Posted Oct 18, 2013


The West Virginia men's basketball team kicked off its 2013-14 season Friday night with the Gold-Blue Debut at the Coliseum, with the Blue team coming away with a 41-32 victory over the Gold.

The evening started with the team and staff being introduced, followed by some opening remarks by West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.

Leading the group out of the tunnel was WVU legend and one of only two Mountaineers who have had their jerseys retired at the Coliseum, Hot Rod Hundley.

After making a few jokes about the city of Huntington, Huggins told those in attendance what to expect to see out of this year's team, and told them that it will be different from what they saw a season ago.

"We didn't do what we were supposed to do a year ago," the veteran head coach said. "These guys will represent you to the custom you have been used to being represented."

From there, the attention turned to the night's dunk contest - which was a late addition to the event that Huggins said the players wanted to do. Originally scheduled to be between sophomore guards Eron Harris and Terry Henderson and junior forward Jonathan Holton, the junior college transfer from Miami was scratched in favor of junior walk-on guard Tyrone Hughes.

Each dunker was given 90 seconds to make three successful dunks before being scored by the panel of judges.

Henderson went first and put on a nice showing before Hughes struggled and wasn't able to successfully convert a dunk, but did make a layup, in the allotted time.


But it was Harris who stole the show with three impressive dunks that earned a row of perfect scores to take this year's dunk title.

With everything leading up to it over, the Mountaineers then started their 30-minute scrimmage. The players were split up into two teams.

Henderson, Holton and Hughes were joined by junior Gary Browne, sophomore James Long and freshman Devin Williams on the Blue team, while Harris, juniors Juwan Staten, Kevin Noreen, sophomore Richard Romeo and freshmen Nathan Adrian, Brandon Watkins and Chase Connor made up the Gold squad.

Both teams struggled to score at times, with a string of consecutive made shots only coming on a few occasions.

Huggins sat in the first row behind the scorers table and looked on at how his team was playing while the assistant coaches manned the benches for the scrimmage.

Late in the second half, the Blue team was able to start to pull away after having some success in the transition with dunks from Williams and Henderson before a breakaway layup by Holton made the game 38-29 with a little more than three minutes to play in the game.

Williams and Adrian were the two standouts among the Mountaineer freshmen, with Williams making his presence known in the paint and on the glass at times and Adrian made a few shots on the perimeter.

Holton finished the game with 11 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Blue in victory, while Adrian scored 10 points for the Gold.

Freshman Elijah Macon, who has been dealing with a foot injury, and Remi Dibo were the only two Mountaineers who did not play in the scrimmage.

WVU announced earlier on Friday that Dibo underwent successful surgery on a torn lateral meniscus and is expected to be out for two to three weeks.

The Mountaineers will have a closed scrimmage next weekend against Ohio State in Columbus before taking on Fairmont State Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum.


Related Stories
Huggins Press Conference: A New Season
 -by BlueGoldNews.com  Sep 30, 2013
Video: Gold-Blue Debut Dunk Contest
 -by BlueGoldNews.com  Oct 18, 2013
Photo Gallery I: Gold-Blue Debut
 -by BlueGoldNews.com  Oct 18, 2013

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