WVU men celebrate Senior Night this evening

Mountaineers trying to send off Miles, Carter with a win

West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) drives while being defended by Iowa State forward Zoran Talley Jr. (23) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

MORGANTOWN — When asked about his team’s chance to secure the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big 12 Conference Championships when No. 21 West Virginia (21-8, 10-6 Big 12) plays host to No. 6 Texas Tech (22-7, 10-6 Big 12) at 9 p.m. on ESPN2, veteran head coach Bob Huggins made a unique comparison that caught the media in attendance by surprise.

Something the longtime basketball coach has done on a regular basis during his career on the hardwood.

“I remember someone asking John F. Kennedy, who many believed – because of his age – should have run for vice president, why he chose to run for president,” said the unquestioned leader of the Old Gold and Blue. “His answer was ‘Why run for vice president when you can be president?”

Many in the room scratched their heads at the unusual response. But, those who understand the thinking of the former-Mountaineer player realized that he was basically explaining that his goal – and the goal of his players – is always going to be playing for the championship.

That won’t happen this year as No. 8 Kansas (23-6, 12-4 Big 12) wrapped up, for all intents and purposes, its 14th consecutive conference crown, breaking the record of 13 set by UCLA, with its 74-72 victory over the Red Raiders on Saturday.

At worst the Jayhawks earned a share of the title and can wrap it up completely with a home victory over Texas tonight.

But, just who will lay claim to the league’s No. 2 seed when tournament time rolls around, won’t be decided until the final contests on Saturday.

Two of those in contention – WVU and Texas Tech – will collide in the Coliseum on Senior Night for the Old Gold and Blue.

An expected sellout crowd will be on hand to witness the final home contests for seniors Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr.

“He (JC) deserves everything he gets,” said Huggins. “He works so hard. I had to sit a couple of players down tonight (against ISU) because they haven’t realized that they need to start working as hard as he does if they want to play like he does.”

Carter, the first player from a Power 5 conference to score more than 1,500 points, dish out more than 500 assists, haul down more than 500 rebounds and snatch more than 300 steals, is firmly entrenched into the Mountaineers’ record books and the minds of fans across the Mountain State.

His 222 made 3-point field goals ranks him fourth behind Alex Ruoff (261), Kevin Pittsnogle (253) and Patrick Beilein (242). His 501 assists place him four behind Ron Williams (1966-68) for third in that category.

The Illinois native is only 14 assists away from second place Marsalis Basey’s total of 514 set from 1991-94.

Carter already tops the lists in Career Steals (303) and Career Steals per Game (2.21) but is within striking distance Damian Owen’s Season mark of 97 established in 1998 – having 85 so far with two regular season games remaining as well as the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments looming ahead.

Miles Jr., who has started more games (116) than his more noted teammate, is coming off a 14-point, two assists, two steals outing in the win over the Cyclones.

“I haven’t given it (playing his last game in Morgantown) much thought until you guys brought it up,” said Miles. “I guess I will worry about that on Monday. But, I couldn’t have chosen a better guy to go out with than JC.”

Contact Jim Butta @ mountaineersman@outlook.com

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