The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

February 1, 2010

Ebanks handling high expectations

MORGANTOWN — We live in a world where being good often isn’t good enough.

Think about it for a moment. We can’t just have an NFL Championship Game. We need to have a Super Bowl. And it isn’t enough to play for the American Championship in baseball, we have to play for the world championship in the World Series even though no other country is involved.

In this atmosphere, we in the sports writing and announcing businesses tend to do a bit of exaggerating, just as the schools and teams do in publicizing their athletes.

They don’t just run fast, they fly. They don’t jump high, they soar into the rafters. Being a star isn’t enough. They must be superstars.

And sometimes it all gets out of hand.

That was the point West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was trying to make on Saturday after his Mountaineers scored a dramatic, pulsating victory over Louisville, 77-74, in the Coliseum.

While Da’Sean Butler was the day’s designated hero with 27 points, including the last four of the game, Devin Ebanks wasn’t far behind. With WVU trailing 72-70 he scored on a driving layup and drew a foul, making the free throw for the lead. Then after Louisville regained the lead with but 45 seconds left to play, he soared into the rafters for an offensive rebound of a missed jump shot by Wellington Smith.

Had Louisville collared that rebound, the Cardinals well may have won the game, but it was Ebanks who got it, leading to a timeout and the out-of-bounds play on which Butler scored the go-ahead basket.

“Huge, absolutely huge,” Coach Bob Huggins said of the offensive rebound.

And then he had some more to say.

He noted Ebanks had scored but nine points, but that he had 11 rebounds and four assists for a pretty good afternoon of basketball.

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Bob Herzel
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