Stars Impress in WV-OSU Match Up

Sun, 01/24/2010 - 4:05pm
By Joshua Cochran and Joel Steiner

Morgantown, WV -- West Virginia and Ohio State took a break from league play on January 23rd for a key non-conference showdown.  The game not only paired two of NBADraft.net’s top 16 teams but also matched up four potential 2009/2010 first round picks.  The following are notes about the key players Evan Turner, Devin Ebanks, Da’Sean Butler and William Buford along with other tidbits.   

·  Evan Turner dominated the first half with his all-around game.  He set up teammates for open 3’s early in the game.  Then he took over by aggressively driving to the rim.  Turner won’t blow by many defenders, but he uses a deceptive hesitation dribble and spin moves to create space.  He was the best rebounder on the floor with a knack for reading the ball off the rim, which is something you can’t teach.  Turner struggled in the second half when WVU adjusted their defense to shut down the paint.  Looking a bit frustrated, he drove to the bucket out of control on several occasions resulting in turnovers.  Turner forced a few jumpers in the 2nd half when his teammates were struggling to score.  He played all 40 minutes and fatigue may have taken a toll as he missed several free throws down the stretch.  Despite a sub par 2nd half performance, he was clearly the best player on the floor.  Pundits question his athleticism and upside, but how do you not take another version of Brandon Roy in the top 3? 

·  Da’Sean Butler is a hustler and the heart of WVU’s squad.  He is an above average spot up shooter, but tends not to drive to the basket even if he has an opening.  Most of his buckets come from spot up 3's and put-backs.  Defensively Butler moves his feet well and uses his strength to his advantage.  He's a solid rebounder and a good passer.  While not an amazing athlete, Butler just finds ways to score.  He got hot in the second half, shooting 5-7 from the field, including 3-5 from 3-point range.  His leadership, energy and hot shooting led WVU to a comeback win.  We doubt he will be a star in the NBA, but he's going to be an excellent role-player for somebody.     

William BufordWilliam Buford·  William Buford’s potential was on display playing wing-man for Turner.  Buford exhibits a feathery touch on his jump shot with the ability to hit pull up jumpers on the break and can spot up and knock down three pointers.  It is apparent he is more comfortable going left when he shoots off the dribble, but he hit numerous tough shots coming off screens against taller defenders.  Through OSU's first seven games Buford has had spotty performances.  I talked to Buford after the game about his improved shooting touch over the last month and he explained the extra work before and after practice is paying off.  Defensive awareness is a question mark as he can get out of posisiton and his lateral quickness is not where it needs to be.    

·  Devin Ebanks was non-existent in the first half showing no aggressiveness.  Coach Huggins must have sensed this as Devin only played 10 minutes despite the fact he didn't have any personal fouls.  The second half was a little better as he played the full 20 minutes and scored two buckets on put-backs.  Overall, we were pretty disappointed in his performance.  This is the third time we've seen him in person and he's disappeared for long stretches each time.  The kid has excellent physical attributes and ability, but he can't seem to put it together with any consistency.  There's some question about the way he's being utilized in WVU's system, but more questions exist about his attitude and desire.    

·  Maybe it's just me, but I'm a big fan of WVU's Kevin Jones.  Listed at 6-8 250 lbs, the sophomore forward is a versatile defensive player and effective on the offensive end.  He uses his frame and strength to battle taller players on the glass and in the paint.  Jones is an excellent rebounder averaging 7.9 per game, including 4.1 on the offensive glass.  He scores a lot of points on put-backs and layups, but he can also shoot.  The Mount Vernon, NY native is shooting 44.4% on 3-point attempts for the season.  Jones struggled from the field today only shooting 3-12, but he made his presence felt in other areas.  Using size, good lateral quickness and energy, Jones defended multiple positions.  He had 4 blocks, including 2 on Evan Turner jump shots.  We had a chance to speak with him after the game and he defined his role by saying, "It's to come and bring energy, grab rebounds, take open shots and I've been successful in doing that so far."  We also asked him about whom he patterns his game after, "My favorite player is Kevin Garnett and I love the energy he brings on a nightly basis; I just try to add a little bit of that to my game."   

·  We heard rumblings from WVU’s staff before the game that Deniz Kilici, the 6-9 forward from Turkey, might be the Mountaineers’ best all-around player.  Kilici is suspended until the Pitt game on February 3rd because he played in a game with a professional player in Turkey.  Kilici could be the back-to-the basket post presence WVU needs to get to its squad to the next level.  

Questions and comments can be directed to Joel [email protected] or Josh [email protected]  
The8thDeadlySin
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Turner was defiantly the

Turner was defiantly the most talented player on the floor but the best player was Butler. Im a WVU fan so I may be a little bias but watching Butler is like watching a coach play the game. He is almost always making smart plays when they count.

Also, I love seeing KJ getting some love. He is a great energy guy and IMO, could be a first rounder for 2011.

Ebanks has played like that all year. He just doesnt have any intensity in his game at all. Its pretty disappointing to be a fan.

Deniz is supposed to be the best player on the team. Only 2 games left until he gets to play. Look out Pitt.

TRC1991
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if kevin jones develops an

if kevin jones develops an outside jumper i see him with that extreme length and athleticism playing the SF position in the NBA..yes, even at 250 lbs. lebron can do it!

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