Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Eyes Were Opened at Women's Classic

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Eyes Were Opened at Women's Classic

Article excerpt

Chania Ray, a Florida State transfer, sat quietly at the end of WVU's bench during the Mountaineers' 66-60 victory over Marshall on Sunday at Charleston's Civic Center. She apparently wanted to check out her team, which she'll be running from the point guard position shortly. ("She'll be eligible for the Florida [Sunshine Classic on Dec. 20], said WVU coach Mike Carey.)

Ray nervously bit her nails - appropriate during the nail-biter. But she also had her eyes opened on many fronts. All attending the game did on one front or another.

Let us count the ways.

First, the game set up as a showcase for Mountaineer guard Bria Holmes, an all-Big 12 performer who has been projected as a Top 10 player for the next WNBA draft. It was expected to be a showcase because both West Virginia and Marshall have many young players on their rosters.

In the end, Holmes had nice double-double of points (12) and assists (10). She suffered a foul to the face that left her with a black eye. (MU coach Matt Daniel checked it out in the postgame and gave her encouragement.)

Yet in the postgame comments, Daniel surprisingly poked at Holmes in favor of another Mountaineer: Tynice Martin, a 5-foot-10 freshman who wound up as WVU's leading scorer.

"[Martin] didn't surprise me, Daniel said. "I think she's the most talented player on the roster.

If that didn't raise eyebrows, Daniel reiterated the remark, calling her the Mountaineers' "most dangerous.

Now, Martin was one of the nation's Top 40 wing players coming out of high school, where she played in a Georgia state championship game for Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. But WVU's most dangerous?

Carey shrugged.

"Well, she is, he said. "We think she's going to be a really good player. We think we have two or three freshmen that have a chance to be really good - and we're excited about our young players.

"You have to understand, 11 of our 15 players are new on this squad. The communication isn't there. The execution isn't there. …

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