INDIANAPOLIS -- Jonnie West has played only 71 minutes in 19 games for West Virginia this basketball season. The junior guard has scored 33 points.
Yet, when the Mountaineers play their Final Four nightcap Saturday night against third-ranked Duke, the son of WVU's hoops legend will be part of a rare distinction few in his sport have enjoyed.
For the first time, two teams meet in the national semifinals that have sons of fathers who were also on Final Four rosters.
There's the younger West and his father, Jerry, who was also a WVU junior in the mountaineers' last NCAA semifinal trip in 1959.
Duke junior guard Nolan Smith is the son of the late Derek Smith, who helped Louisville to the 1980 NCAA title in this city's Market Square Arena, which has been since demolished at a location only a mile from Lucas Oil Stadium.
West and Smith are part of only nine father-son duos to play on Final Four rosters - a list that also includes former Indiana player Pat Knight and his famous coaching dad, Bob Knight, an Ohio State backup in 1961 and '62 Final Fours.
The elder West led WVU to the title game at Freedom Hall in 1959, where the Mountaineers were edged 71-70 by California.
Jonnie West said Friday his father talks about that game time and again, and how it's "the one thing he regrets most, he's said, is not being able to win a national championship, not for him, but because how much the state and the school mean to him."
The younger West, a bit player for Coach Bob Huggins, said he has thought about having the chance to check in at the scorer's table in a Final four game, so-called following in his father's footsteps as he did when he chose WVU.
"It would be unbelievable," West said. "The ultimate for a college athlete, a basketball player, in to be in a Final Four, win a national championship. Having the opportunity a lot of athletes don't have, we want to take advantage of it."
Asked if he might find a "special moment" to put West on the floor so he could experience what his father did, West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins smiled at a loaded question.
"Well, it depends on the situation," Huggins said, starting to grin. "Jonnie wants to win, just like all our other guys do, and I think Jonnie has the utmost confidence in me that I'll do everything we can possibly do to win."
The younger West -- who wears uniform No. 4 in tribute to his dad's retired 44 -- said he hasn't given up on Jerry West's attendance at Lucas Oil Arena, although the Basketball Hall of Famer has said he doesn't want to detract or distract - and besides, he's a bundle of nerves during games like this one.
"As of now, I don't think he's coming," West said Friday in the WVU locker room after practice. "I haven't talked to him today yet, do I don't know if he's made up his mind, set in stone. Maybe if we make it (the title game) Monday, he'll come then.
"When he played, he was the guy they went to, Mr. Clutch. He just gets so nervous watching. When he was with the Grizzlies (as the NBA club's president and general manager) I used to watch games with him and he's get up during part of the game and walk away.
"We'd be watching at home and he'd change channels, switch away from the game for a while. I don't think it's because (West can't affect the outcome), I just think it's because when he has something invested in it, he gets nervous.'
The younger West said a day doesn't go by when someone fails to say "they knew my dad or they played with my dad ... Hey, it's a small state. Maybe it all might be true."