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Kilicli making strides for WVU

The West Virginia University offense was much closer to Coach Bob Huggins' standards during an 85-64 victory over Rutgers at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Wednesday.

When Saturday approaches, Huggins would like to see his team continue to piece together games like that one where the offense and defense came to play.

The Mountaineers (11-4, 2-1 Big East) host Georgetown (13-1, 3-0) at noon.

On a side note, 6-foot-9 junior forward Deniz Kilicli put together one of his better games in a WVU uniform with 16 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Huggins said the former Mountain State Academy star has come a long way since his days playing in Beckley.

"He's worlds better than what he was," said Huggins, whose big man averages 25.2 minutes, 11.2 points (third on the team) and 5.6 rebounds (second). "The flip side of that, when you have as much potential as Deniz does, sometimes having great potential becomes a big burden.

"Deniz hasn't reached near his ceiling in terms of getting better."

What has become obvious as WVU's season reaches the meat of the Big East schedule is that the Mountaineers go as senior's Kevin Jones and Darryl "Truck" Bryant go.

Jones is the team's leading scorer and rebounding (19.6 points, 11.6 rebounds per game) and Bryant is second with 18 points and three assists. Bryant had 29 points and Jones 14 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Rutgers.

What also is obvious is that Huggins never likes to make excuses, despite a wide gap of age and experience between the two senior leaders and three key freshmen.

"We had five days in July, five days in August and I think we're halfway through our season after the Rutgers game," he said. "I would think the jelling should be over, if there ever was one."

The Hoyas are led by Jason Clark, who averages 15.9 points, while Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims scored 13.9 and 12.1 points per game each.

Also, Georgetown is hitting 48 percent of its shots (WVU is at 47.3), 36.5 percent of its 3-pointers (WVU is 34.4) and 72 percent of its free throws (WVU is at 63.6).

Perhaps the Hoyas' most impressive statistic is their defense, where it is giving up only 58 points per game, compared to 66.4 for the Mountaineers. Georgetown opponents are shooting just 38.5 percent from the field.

After the Georgetown contest, the Mountaineers hit the road to face Connecticut in Hartford at 7 p.m. Monday.



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