The Washington Times - January 24, 2009, 10:05AM

Meant to post something about West Virginia after the Mountaineers shredded Georgetown 75-57 the other night at Verizon Center.

It was an impressive performance, the sort of drubbing you rarely see Georgetown absorb. Indeed, it was the Hoyas’ worst margin of defeat since a 19-point loss at Connecticut late in the 2004-05 season.


And oddly enough, West Virginia talked about desperation afterward.

Desperate? A team with that talent and a superb road victory (Ohio State) already in hand.

But as the Mountaineers saw it, they had Georgetown and Pittsburgh back to back (the Pitt game is tomorrow). And, in their minds, they had to get one.

This is a team that is now 14-4, and it has really only been trounced once (at Marquette). But it is a youthful group, and Bob Huggins‘ ability to keep his team dialed in is extremely impressive.

“It’s just been up and down,” said freshman guard Darryl Bryant. “We’re young. We have freshmen, guys like myself. It’s just hard adjusting to new things. We’ve never played against this team and never played against that team. It’s just different.”

It’s going to be different for the Big East once the Mountaineers really get going. In some ways, they’re like Memphis —- except with a capable point guard in Alex Ruoff.

In short, they play extremely hard, are increasingly athletic and are going to be a headache and a half for anyone unfortunate to come across them in March.

Two things to think about with the Mountaineers.

* They’re doing this without injured guard Joe Mazzulla. His eventual return will only make West Virginia better.

* Just imagine how good this team would be with Joe Alexander, who parlayed a jaw-dropping March for a spot in lottery land in last June’s NBA Draft.

As it stands, West Virginia sure looks like it is in good shape with a 3-2 league record. The Mountaineers are already done with Connecticut, Georgetown and Marquette for the regular season.

Sure, they’re young. But they’re going to get better, with Bryant and Devin Ebanks and Kevin Jones all improving to complement veterans Ruoff and Da’Sean Butler.

Should they stay desperate, it will make them even scarier.

—- Patrick Stevens