The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

June 6, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Alexander learns from rough rookie year with Bucks

MORGANTOWN — Joe Alexander could run and he could jump, yet when he went from West Virginia University to the Milwaukee Bucks as their first round selection in last year’s NBA draft he had to learn to walk again.

He quickly learned that about the only thing that’s the same in the pro game and the college game is that the ball is round.

“It’s a bigger step to go from college to the NBA than it is to go from high school to college,” Alexander admitted as he returned to town to take part in Bob Huggins’ second annual Fantasy Camp.

Those who remember Joe Alexander, the freshman under John Beilein, remember that he was not what you’d call an instant success. He played only 10 games and his high game was just five points scored against Washington & Jefferson. As athletic as he was, he was behind because of a childhood in China and Taiwan where his basketball progress was retarded by a lack of instruction and competition.

He rode his amazing athletic talent through Lingapore High School in Mt. Airy, Md., good enough to have his No. 20 uniform retired this year, and into WVU.

But once here he had trouble adjusting to Beilein’s restrictive system and did not blossom until his junior season under Huggins, who coerced the best out of Alexander and guided him into position to become an instant millionaire … a millionaire who says he still hasn’t spent any money and continues to drive the same car he drove in college.

Well, Alexander may have become a professional by signing a contract but he quickly found out that there is more to professional basketball than just playing for an NBA team.

“The biggest difference is that when you are a professional you take ownership of yourself and your career. It all involves exceeding expectations,” Alexander said.

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Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations

    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Smallwood puts future in jeopardy

    The last thing West Virginia’s struggling football program needed as twilight was setting on Bastille Day in Morgantown was to have one of its own whisked off to the North Central Regional Jail on a fugitive warrant from another state, especially a player who had figured to play a key role in the resurrection of a program gone bad.

    July 16, 2014

  • WVU player arrested in Delaware case

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood has been arrested by university police and is being held at North Central Regional Jail awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Delaware.

    July 15, 2014

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