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By Tony Dobies
Saturday, April 3, 2010
 

INDIANAPOLIS — If John Flowers was to describe West Virginia's run to the Final Four, he would use the words "so icey."

Flowers doesn't necessarily have a definition for the saying, but said "so icey" is like "being cool, laid back and chill."

Flowers is West Virginia's self-proclaimed team jokester. He stands in the middle of the team's huddle during pre-game warm-ups and does something different each game. He did an Irish jig in front of the Notre Dame pep band after the Mountaineers defeated the Fighting Irish in the Big East Tournament on national TV. He attempted the John Wall dance following WVU's win over Kentucky, too.

Flowers, a standout defender with the longest wingspan on the team, is relatively quiet to the media. But he breaks out of his shell on his Twitter page ( www.twitter.com/jflow41 ), where he frequently updates for his more than 3,200 followers. On his Twitter page, he uses the saying "so icey" to describe just about anything he likes.

"That's just my personality," he said. "I just like to have a good time and not take life too serious. Basketball is supposed to be fun, so I'm just having as much fun as I can."

In addition to his updates about practice, his car troubles and odd-looking classmates, he and his teammates have uploaded humorous videos to Flowers' Twitter page.

It started prior to the Mountaineers' third-round NCAA Tournament game against Missouri. That night, Flowers posted the team's video reaction after Kansas lost to Northern Iowa. He also posted three more videos that night featuring forwards Da'Sean Butler and guards Joe Mazzulla and Jonnie West joking around, including one of the team doing the famous Saturday Night Live skit "Night at the Roxbury" dance.

"I think it's good for the fans to see the other side of us," Flowers said. "I think they deserve to see that."

Fans have reacted, making signs saying "J-Flow is so icey."

After the Mountaineers reached the Sweet 16, Flowers spent the next day tweeting about why he loves West Virginia fans. He had about 50 reasons, but he said his favorite was "I love West Virginia fans because if we played on the moon, they would be up there waiting for the game to start."

Mazzulla calls himself a supporting actor alongside Butler. All involved say West is the lead actor while Flowers serves as the director.

"We're just close as a team, and that's how we stay together and stay loose," West said. "We don't focus too much on the game before the game."

The players' videos made it on national sports blog Deadspin.com , and some criticized how loose the team was just hours before playing an NCAA Tournament game. But Flowers said it's just the team living in the moment.

"We're like a big family," he said. "Everyone else is having fun. Why can't we have fun• This is one of the best times of our lives. We're not going to be able to have fun with (graduating seniors) Da'Sean and Wellington (Smith) next year, so we're just going to have all the fun we can have now with each other."

Coach Bob Huggins doesn't mind the team's loose attitude prior the game.

"I want them to have fun," Huggins said. "I want them to enjoy the experience. They know when it's time to go to work, they show up and go to work."

Flowers said he doesn't expect to post another video for a while, but he could change his mind.

"We won't post another one," Flowers said, "unless we win (the national championship) Monday night."

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