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Behind Enemy Lines: The West Virginia Hill People

Okay, not really a fair stereotype to make. Pretty sure that movie is based on mountain-people in Georgia. Plus, any girl I've ever met who went to West Virginia was, um, well-endowed in physical gifts.

But I can't help it, my friends and I have always joked about West Virginia being 'The Hill People.' Our one friend who went there is not appreciative of this.

And finally onto something actually related to Saturday's game between the Villanova Wildcats and West Virginia Mountaineers! We chatted with The Smoking Musket to learn a bit more about their team. Make sure to check out the other half of this Q&A as well!

What is the story with Casey Mitchell? We've heard conflicting reports about his suspension.

There are various rumors floating around as to the reasoning, but I won't repeat them here.  As to whether or not he'll be back for this weekend's game...again, rumors.  It's not far fetched, but at the same time, Huggs is non-committal and keeping a lid on it (LINK) and he's very good at that by the way.

Who is the one player on West Virginia that most of the BIG EAST doesn't know about, but should?

Cam Thoroughman perhaps.  It's kinda hard to come up with one with the depth WVU has right now.  Cam will not overwhelm you or under-whelm you either.  Our Charley West likes to say that Cam will just whelm you.  What he means by that is Cam has a role and he fills it well, he brings a certain grittiness to the team and has emerged as a solid senior leader recently, just when the team needed one the most.

Truck Bryant and Joe Mazzulla are two pretty big names, but it doesn't seem like we've heard much from them this season - why is that?

Truck has the mind-numbing ability to drive Huggins and WVU fans crazy with his consistently ill-fated drive attempts to the basket.  Consequently, Huggins has him on a short leash and he spends lots of minutes on the sidelines because of it.  Joe has been much more active the last couple games and has taken it on himself to help pick up the slack on the offensive end to fill the void of Mitchell's absence, specifically his point production.  Why not before recently may be attributed to his selflessness.  I'm not real sure.  His defense has been consistently good, though, all year.

How do you feel about the prospect of Villanova joining the BIG EAST in football? What other programs would you like to see added?

They've got a solid, if not excellent, program at their current level as far as competitiveness and success.  Whether or not that can translate to the FBS and more specifically BCS level is somewhat of a concern.  My biggest concern is the lack of large scale facilities and what it would take to get Villanova to that level (money and time) and will Philly support a college team.
As far as other possibilites for expansion at this point, to me UCF is the most attractive.  I'm not big on the Houston or Memphis bandwagons.

After Pittsburgh, what's the one school you cannot stand in the conference?

In a pure basketball sense, it has to be Georgetown.  Overall, though, I would go with Louisville, but that kinda changes for me at least, depending on the season and who gives us the most fits and which fanbase is acting the douchiest (pot/kettle, I know...we all have them, though)

How would you evaluate West Virginia's season to date? Has it met your expectations or not?

In a word: schizophrenic.  Things were ok, then they seemed to be getting fairly good, then it bottomed out against Marshall and now, it seems, the guys are finally coming together and doing it right.  How long that lasts is anyone's guess at this point.  Maybe the turmoil is what they needed to focus.  As far as meeting my expectations, it's been a rollercoaster (as I just described) but overall, where they're at right now is about what I had expected going into the season, considering the talent we lost.

Thanks again to the folks at The Smoking Musket! Enjoy Philly on Saturday!