Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles deserved better in their final game as West Virginia Mountaineers.
And in the first half of WVU’s 90-78 loss to Villanova, it looked as if they were going to be right on point with what they do.
The Mountaineers went into halftime down 44-42 in a game that the studio commentators, Ernie Johnson, Brendan Haywood and that bunch, called excellent TV. Even Villanova coach Jay Wright said in his halftime interview that there was complete chaos on the floor and credited West Virginia for being tough and physical.
Villanova had nine turnovers and looked out of sorts the last 10 minutes of the first half as the Mountaineers were slowly gaining all the momentum.
Then the second half started. But before it officially started, did anyone see the official talking and laughing with Nova point guard Jalen Brunson? They were patting each other on the back and seemed to be making plans of where they were going to run away together.
That’s when I, my family and a couple other folks I know said “well, the calls are going Villanova’s way this half.” I mean, it seriously looked as if the two were long lost brothers who were just re-united and were going to get a new puppy. That’s how comfortable they looked talking with each other.
Sure enough, four minutes into the half, the Mountaineers had five fouls and THREE of them were on Miles, which gave him four on the night. So, after having just one foul in the whole first half–the half that Jay Wright could just laugh about, that the commentators called “extremely entertaining”– Miles supposedly fouled THREE times in four minutes?
Sorry, not buying it. And with the replays being shown, no one else should have bought it either.
Miles went to the bench, Villanova went on a 22-8 run, and that was all she wrote. The fat lady might as well have been standing at half-court singing her little heart out because at that point, the game was over.
I really hate blaming officials for losses. I really do, and this one is not all on them. Everyone already knows they are all terrible, but enough is enough. Referees cannot completely change the way they do everything at halftime, but in Mountaineer games, they most certainly do.
Now, let’s give Villanova a little credit. They seemed to make every shot they threw up and it’s hard to defeat a team when they shoot like that (they went 13-24 from 3-point land). It was reminiscent of playing Kansas in the Big 12 tournament title game.
However, with the officials changing the way they called the game, it made the Mountaineers less aggressive and messed with their mindset. They got frustrated that they couldn’t play the way they wanted and just went completely out of their game and that is a big reason that the Wildcats got so many easy shots.
And that is how Carter, one of the top 5 greats at the school, and Miles, a 1,000 point scorer, have to end their careers.
Fans may miss this tandem more than any others in recent memory. They came in together, were freshmen in the inaugural year of “Press Virginia” and just did everything the right way on and off the court.
This loss will take awhile to get over for Mountaineer fans. All they ask for is fairness and consistency.
Maybe at some point that will happen. But a lot will have to change between now and then.
Until that time, all Mountaineers will continue to rally together and still pick their beloved WVU to win the whole thing next year.