MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Casey Mitchell had his fourth consecutive 25-point game Wednesday night, which would be exactly four more than he had for West Virginia all of last season.
With a basket with 8:15 left in the 71-50 victory against American, the senior shooting guard scored his 131st point of the season. He had 130 in 35 games last year.
The 27 points he scored against the Eagles were as many as he scored in the final 10 games last season, a time when he was actually increasingly dependable for the Final Four-bound Mountaineers.
The point of all the points about points is to say Mitchell's play remains the most pleasant surprise of the still-young season. It's also becoming more of an expectation than an abnormality.
"Between what he has done with his body and his conditioning and the fact he is listening now, he learned how to play," Coach Bob Huggins said. "He is doing a great job of curling screens and getting to the foul line. Obviously, he can make shots. That was never the issue.
"It was learning how to play, how to get himself to the foul line and score going to the goal. He's been very receptive to everything we've asked him to do."
Mitchell, who came to WVU (5-1) last year as the reigning national junior college player of the year and ended up averaging just 3.7 points per game, was 8-for-11 from the floor and 10-for-11 from the free-throw line against American. He attempted just three 3-pointers and made one after going 16-for-38 in the season's first five games.
Virtually all of his scoring was off the bounce or at the foul line after he was harassed on the way to the rim.
"I'm not just going to keep shooting the 3-ball if they want to run out there and jump at my shot and keep close to me," said Mitchell, who played two seasons at Chipola (Fla.) College before arriving at WVU.
"I'll go around them. The things I'm doing now are what I did in junior college. That's what made me really good in junior college.
"My freshman year of junior college, all I did was shoot 3s, just like I did my first year here. Then I stayed the whole summer and completed my game."