|No. 24 WVU stays busy, faces Long Beach State|
As coach Bob Huggins fiddles with substitution patterns, installs offensive sets and gets newcomers versed in the full-court press, he sees value in having No. 24 West Virginia play six games in 12 days.
The Mountaineers (2-1) play the third game in that string Monday night in Morgantown, W.Va., when they host Long Beach State (2-1), a precursor to participating in the AdvoCare Invitational later this week in Orlando.
"I like (stacking games) this time of year because it really helps your conditioning," Huggins said. "I like it when we win."
Winning came easily during the first two home games, including a 111-48 blowout of Morgan State on Saturday. West Virginia built a 42-point lead in the opening half, then coasted to its most sizable victory since 2007.
Guard Daxter Miles finished with a career-best 32 points in that game, and the team's 45 baskets were the second most in 20 seasons.
"We shot the ball well and we did a better job in transition," Huggins said.
Miles (18.3 points) is the top scorer for the Mountaineers, who benefit from the all-around production of Jevon Carter. The guard averages 16.3 points, 6.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and five steals.
"He's learning how to be a point guard," Huggins said. "I think JC's more interested in his assists and his steals and rebounds than he is scoring the ball. He passed up shots (against Morgan State) because we were shooting it too quick."
James "Beetle" Bolden is averaging 16 points off the bench, having made 10 of 20 shots from 3-point range. Upon subbing in against Morgan State, the sophomore bailed West Virginia out of a potential shot-clock violation by swishing a contested 24-footer.
Sophomores Lamont West (9.7 points) and Wesley Harris (8.3 points, 6.0 rebounds) and freshman Teddy Allen (8.7 points) are rotational contributors for West Virginia, which stands 59-4 in nonconference home games under Huggins.
Long Beach State was picked fourth in the nine-team Big West with forwards Gabe Levin and Temidayo Yussuf selected preseason all-conference.
The 6-foot-7 Levin (11.7 points, 9.0 rebounds), recovered from last December's knee injury and returned to his double-double form. Yussuf has yet to be cleared after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in the preseason.
"He's due back any time," 49ers coach Dan Monson said. "He's doing some non-contact stuff now."
Guard Barry Ogalue (17.3 points, 5.7 rebounds) has been a senior surprise for Long Beach State, as has Gonzaga transfer Bryan Alberts (15.3 points, 41.7 percent on 3-pointers).
The 49ers opened their season with comfortable wins over San Francisco (83-71) and San Francisco State (95-70).
The 49ers, who are traveling cross-country after losing 89-81 at Oregon State late Saturday night, also will head to the AdvoCare Invitational after the game in Morgantown. There is a chance the 49ers could see West Virginia again, though it could only take place in the championship game.
Long Beach State also will pay a visit to No. 3 Arizona on Nov. 29.