MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- So accepted is the traditional five-player basketball lineup that the positions actually have numbers.
The point guard is the 1, the shooting guard the 2, the small forward the 3, the power forward the 4 and the center the 5.
Consequently, many believe a team has to take the court in that fashion. West Virginia senior Joe Mazzulla suggests those believers "don't know what they're talking about."
WVU has proof. Bob Huggins hasn't been much of a traditionalist as the coach at WVU. His teams have defied the standards.
He hasn't had a true center and often played with three forwards.
There were times his team was at its best with five forwards and no guards, let alone a point guard. This season he might play three guards a whole bunch and trample a basketball taboo with two point guards at once.
The Mountaineers (1-0) begin play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at 11:30 a.m. today against Davidson (0-1). In the three-game event, they figure to use both Mazzulla and junior Darryl "Truck" Bryant together.
"I think it's better that we've got two people on the court who can help facilitate the offense and help get us going without Huggs having to say anything to us," Bryant said. "It's definitely a positive to know Joe and I, two versatile point guards, know how to make rotations, know who to guard, know when we need stops.
"I think it works out great. We're going to be creating shots for our teammates and for each other."
They are the only point guards on the roster, but they will be needed for points as well as protecting and passing the ball this season after Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks handled a lot of that last season as forwards.
"I'd like to do it the whole game, but I don't think that's possible," Huggins said. "What we've got to be careful of is we can't get those two guys in foul trouble. At least before we had Da'Sean. Now we don't have Da'Sean anymore.
"Those are our two primary ball-handlers. Not that the other guys can't do it, but I think the other guys would have a harder time getting us into offense. We have to make sure at least one of those guys is on the floor at all times."
The Mountaineers understand it might seem like an unusual concept, but can easily disarm detractors. If they are to use three guards this season, playing two point guards still leaves a spot for a shooting guard.
Additionally, there really isn't a shooting guard in the offense. A point guard in Huggins' motion offense has a pretty simple and pretty brief responsibility.
"With the motion, there really isn't a point guard," Mazzulla said. "It's just a guard that needs to be able to bring the ball up the floor and enter it (into the halfcourt offense). After that, it's just five positions."