West Virginia’s Bryant getting back on right track at right time
Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2012 00:03
After being a consistent scoring threat in the first 20 games of the season for West Virginia, senior guard Truck Bryant had cooled off drastically since the team began to lose in the final third of the season.
Now, as the Mountaineers head toward the end of the regular season and into March, it looks like Bryant is starting to return to form following two solid efforts.
Bryant's 53 points in his last two games are the most he's scored in back-to-back games since he scored 54 against Rutgers and Georgetown on Jan. 4 and Jan. 7, respectively.
"Once I make the first couple, I just get in the groove then. I'm just on track then," Bryant said. "Even if I miss the first couple, I still think I'm going to make the first couple."
It's that confidence that has been able to get Bryant through the times when he has struggled.
But, as West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said after Bryant's 28-point performance against DePaul, he's been putting in the work to get back to where he was, as well.
"Shooting's kind of a fickle thing. It comes and goes," Huggins said. "Honestly, it wasn't that Truck wasn't working at shooting when he shot it bad, he was. He really has put the time in the gym, shooting the ball."
After struggling for so long, Bryant looked like he did at the beginning of the year following Tuesday's win.
It wasn't hard to tell that it was a bit of a relief for him.
It wasn't because of his 7-for-13 performance from the field, and it wasn't because it was his final home game at the Coliseum.
It was because the Mountaineers were able to do something they haven't been able to do in a while by putting together 40 minutes of solid team basketball.
And, if the way the rest of this season has gone is of any indication, more of those could be coming their way if Bryant can continue to contribute the way he has the last two games alongside of fellow senior Kevin Jones.
"It's a great feeling," Bryant said. "I feel like when we're both clicking, the whole team is clicking and it's going to be a good night. Being the leaders of this team, we need to be clicking."
Jones admitted that it was nice seeing Bryant finally starting to break out of the funk he's been stuck in for the last few weeks.
"I don't know when the last time was that Truck and I did that," Jones said after the two seniors combined for 50 points in WVU's win Tuesday.
"Either he would have a great game and I wouldn't, or I would have a good game and he didn't. It was good that we were both at the point where our team needed us to be. Our team really thrives off us."
The next step for Bryant is to carry that success into West Virginia's regular season finale Saturday and then to try finishing his career the same way he and Jones intended to with strong showings in the postseason.
"We've got to be hungry," Bryant said. "(South Florida) is a game that we need to win, and we will be ready to play.
"At the end of the day, me
and KJ know what it takes to win."