By Mickey Furfari
Times West Virginian
Coach Bob Huggins thinks freshman Jabarie Hinds has done a great job as a point guard for the West Virginia University men’s basketball team this season.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., signed with WVU in November 2010 as a shooting guard.
“But he definitely will be a point guard for us, no doubt about that,” Huggins said.
Hinds, who has started all 18 games, leads the Mountaineers in assists with 66. He also has scored 193 points (7.9 per game). Shooting 44.8 percent, he’s playing an average of 27.8 minutes per game.
“We all recognize his tremendous improvement learning the point guard position because of his work ethic,” Huggins said.
“He’s so much like K.J. (Kevin Jones), the way he works, the way he wants to learn, the kind of person he is off the floor.
“We are all impressed how much he has learned because of those attributes.”
Hinds has hit double digits in scoring six times, including a career-high 19 points against Akron.
He had three goals in seven shots from three-point range in last Saturday’s 84-60 win over Rutgers and finished with 11 points for that game.
Hinds believes he has the potential to play either of the guard positions and fill roles of point guard and shooting guard.
At Mount Vernon (N.Y.) High School, he averaged 17.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.7 steals per game.
Hinds was named Class AA State Player of the Year by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
He also was selected as a two-time Mr. Basketball by the Westchester County Basketball Coaches Association.
“Depending on opposing defenses, at times you’ve got to shoot more than at other times,” Hinds said.
He has the ability to penetrate and can create scoring opportunities for himself and teammates.
Hinds was extremely well-coached when he enrolled at WVU and continues to take to coaching extremely well.
The WVU men (13-5) will be seeking revenge against Marshall (13-4) in tonight’s annual meeting in Charleston’s Civic Center Coliseum.
The Thundering Herd won last year’s game, 75-71, and it looks stronger after winning a lot of close games this year.
Marshall, which is 4-0 in Conference USA play, owns victories over some formidable foes, including Cincinnati, 73-69.
West Virginia leads the all-time series by 28-11.
Tipoff time is 7:30 p.m.