NEW YORK - Kevin Jones was finally able to explain how he felt about not winning the Big East Player of the Year award and not being a unanimous all-conference first team pick by votes of the league coaches.
West Virginia's senior forward, who is the third player in Big East history to lead the league in scoring and rebounding, said he was disappointed he didn't beat Marquette's Jae Crowder for player of the year and that at first he couldn't believe a coach left him off the first-team ballot.
Jones admitted he wanted both honors, but that he wasn't hung up on the outcome.
"It happened, man," he said. "It's a matter of opinion. I've got to shake it off."
He spoke after a second-round loss to Connecticut, when Jones had bigger worries. He scored 25 points in the first 34 minutes of the overtime game and then no points in the final 11 minutes.
"They put an emphasis on finding where I was," said Jones, who shot 10-for-21 from the floor. "I wasn't going to get the same open shots I had in the first half. But it's also on me. I've got to demand the ball when I see my team struggling in certain situations. That's what a key player has to do - demand the ball and find a way to get it."
Jones made two free throws to give the Mountaineers a 57-52 lead with 6:19 remaining, but took just three shots the rest of the game and all in the final 90 seconds of overtime.
Jones never came out of the game in that span.
"He was playing with a bunch of freshmen that don't have any idea what they hell they're doing," WVU Coach Bob Huggins said.
UConn started to double-team Jones in some places, but also decided to put 6-foot-10 Andre Drummond on Jones late in the game. Jones said he had a hard time shooting against Drummond's size and reach.
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THE HUSKIES had success with a similar approach against WVU's Truck Bryant.
Point guard Shabazz Napier guarded Bryant most of the game, but Napier also fouled out. UConn decided to use 6-7 Niels Giffey, who is half a foot taller than Bryant.
USF used forwards and taller guards against Bryant last Saturday and Bryant said he's seeing more of that from the opposition.