The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

October 30, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN: Beilein optimistic as coach at Wesleyan

MORGANTOWN — Pat Beilein admittedly feels “very good” going into his second season as a men’s head basketball coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

The former West Virginia University standout, who had served as an assistant coach at Dartmouth and Bradley, led the Bobcats to a 12-15 record last season. Obviously, he’s hopeful that they can be more successful in 2013-14.

“I really enjoy being a head coach,” Beilein said. “And I am very happy being at West Virginia Wesleyan. This is a great opportunity for me.

“It is a wonderful private school, with great sports all around, and it has a long history.”

He acknowledged that he hasn’t had any difficulty recruiting good players there.

“I believe we’ll have a solid foundation for our program in my second year,” said Beilein, whose father John did an outstanding job at WVU as head men’s basketball coach from years 2002-03 through 2006-07.

The elder Beilein is now the head coach at Michigan, where his son served as a graduate assistant.

“We have a lot of sophomores and juniors here (Wesleyan) this year, and I’m anxiously looking forward to see how we do,” Pat Beilein noted.

The Bobcats only return a handful of performers who really were significant contributors to last season’s efforts. T.J. Thompson was sidelined about halfway through the year with a shoulder injury.

He was averaging 11 points per game. Thompson and junior point guard Ray Warren, who started 25 games in 2012-13, will be counted on to lead the way this season.

Sophomore Soren Dossing hopes to add to his seven points per game he managed a year ago. Senior transfer Brett Ervin is expected to make an immediate impact up front along with Morgantown’s Taylor Price and Buckhannon’s Tanner McGraw.

Beilein even came up with a late recruit from Belgrade, Serbia, named Aleksandar Djordjevic. He expects to help at the point or wing positions.

Wesleyan, now a member of the new Mountain East Conference, will play an exhibition game at Bradley. The University of Buffalo, a second NCAA Division I team, is on the regular schedule.

West Liberty, the nation’s top Division II team the last three years in scoring, will be met twice by Wesleyan home-and-home along with Fairmont State University.

Asked how much basketball he learned from his famous father, Pat replied, “It’s hard to describe in words what I learned playing for him and being around him. Everything I know about the game, I learned from Dad. It has been invaluable very much so.”

As a Mountaineer player, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound standout played in 128 games and earned letters in 2003-04-05-06. He was a team captain as a senior, and he helped WVU to records of 14-15, 17-14, 24-11 and 22-11 competing in the Big East.

Beilein, who’s credited with two starts but averaged playing 21.8 minutes per game, made 308 field goals in 823 attempts, 242 3-point field goals in 675 attempts, 143 out of 184 free throws, and 1,001 points (7.8 ppg average).

He also had 250 rebounds, 224 assists, 24 steals and six blocked shots.

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Mickey Furfari
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