CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Coach Bryan Poore's West Virginia State Yellow Jackets bear little resemblance to the men's basketball team with the same name from last month.
To start with, the 105-92 drubbing of Glenville State at Fleming Hall on Saturday night is a stark contrast to the 1-4 record the Yellow Jackets stumbled their way through in December. West Virginia State (7-5, 3-3) meets West Virginia Wesleyan (5-5, 2-4) in another West Virginia Conference test tonight at 7:30 in Institute.
The Yellow Jackets enter that game coming off a season-high 105 points. In fact, the last time State put up triple digits was on Nov. 22, 2011 against Ohio Valley University. The difference between this Yellow Jacket team and the one from last semester?
Raymon Austin and Jalen Walker.
Austin played the first two games of the season but was out for more than a month. Walker played three games last semester - none of them at 100 percent.
Following the 13-point win over Glenville State, Poore had a half-smile and chuckled when asked about the difference Austin makes for State.
"He's huge," said Poore, who is in his 14th season running the Yellow Jackets' men's hoops program.
Poore isn't speaking metaphorically. The 6-foot-8 junior, a former Seton Hall commit who signed with State in April, brings a size and presence the Yellow Jackets desperately needed. Austin started the New Year with bang, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against Glenville State.
"He can score, he can pass it, he can rebound it - you have to pay attention to him," Poore said.
Walker added 12 points and five assists to provide another boon to the Yellow Jackets.