With 'Truck' in for repairs, Mazzulla ready to roll
College Football Videos
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A conversation between West Virginia coach Bob Huggins and junior point guard Joe Mazzulla prior to the Big East Tournament could ease Mazzulla's transition to the starting lineup following Tuesday's loss of sophomore Darryl "Truck'' Bryant with a broken foot.
Mazzulla will make his first start of the season tonight against Washington in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament at the Carrier Dome.
"I thought that at the start of the Big East Tournament, Joe was kind of settling for just being a role player for us," Huggins said. "And I had a conversation about him stepping up and playing the way that we expected him to play.''
Mazzulla, a reluctant shooter since undergoing surgery last season on his left (shooting) shoulder, has displayed steady progress of late.
In West Virginia's first two Tournament games, Bryant averaged 4 points and 2 assists in 19 minutes, while Mazzulla has averaged 4 points and 4 assists in 23 minutes.
For the season, Bryant averaged 9.3 points, 3.1 assists and 2.2 rebounds. He was second on the team in free throws, assists and 3-pointers.
Mazzulla will be assigned to defend Washington guard Isaiah Thomas, who averages 17.1 points and 3.1 assists.
"He's done nothing but lead the team when he has the ball in his hands,'' senior Da'Sean Butler said of Mazzulla. "And whoever you ask him to guard, he guards. He's having a great tournament as far as leading and guarding. I don't see why he wouldn't continue to do the same.''
DEFENDING THE PAC-10
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar is tired of defending the performances of Pac-10 teams this season. Washington and California were the only Pac-10 teams invited to the NCAA Tournrment. The Huskies received a No. 11 seed after defeating favored Cal in the championship game of the Pac-10 Tournament.
"The Pac-10 was a victim of much criticism all year,'' Romar said. "It's almost as if people stopped watching the Pac-10 because they had already made an assumption of where this league was.
"We played in this league, and we didn't go undefeated, and we're going to the Sweet 16. So the league was stronger than people gave it credit for.''
THIS AND THAT
• West Virginia senior Da'Sean Butler has scored 20 or more points in 17 of his 35 games this season.
• The Mountaineers have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in the past six years (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010).
• WVU has held five consecutive opponents under 60 points.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Starkey: Flashback Friday for Pitt
- Puppy, pals come to rescue of Lower Burrell firefighters
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers
- Pitt falls flat in finale loss to Miami
- Unabashed church pastors put politics front and center
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
- Contractor eyes early finish to work on New Stanton interchange of Interstate 70