Notebook: University alum Geoff Hamperian sees action vs. WVU against Youngstown State

MORGANTOWN — Former University High standout Geoff Hamperian needed only a couple of minutes to introduce himself to West Virginia’s Andrew Gordon.
For the record, Hamperian, a redshirt freshman with Youngstown State, is listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds. Gordon weighs in at 6-9, 255.
That didn’t stop Hamperian from drawing an offensive foul in the paint on Gordon.
“It was a big moment for him coming home,” Youngstown State coach Jerrod Calhoun said. “He looked good taking the charge. I was real happy for Geoff.”
For good measure, Hamperian, who is listed as a guard for the Penguins, but was a power forward while at UHS, added a rebound and scored on a lay-up in the Mountaineers’ 106-72 victory on Saturday.
“They were a little more athletic than what they appeared to be on tape,” Huggins said of Youngstown State.
Defensive woes
Despite the Mountaineers offensive spark during their four-game winning streak — West Virginia is averaging 95.8 points per game during that time — Huggins is still frustrated with the Mountaineers’ defensive play.
“D have made it harder to guard for a lot of reasons.
“It’s hard to trap anybody. If they pivot into you, it’s a foul on you. We just have along way to go defensively. We have to gang-guard more than we do. We don’t rotate well.”
Huggs hits 850
Huggins’ 850th win kept him in sixth place on the all-time Division I coaches’ list.
It’s likely he will move down before he moves up it.
How? North Carolina coach Roy Williams has 848 career wins and will go for No. 849 on Wednesday, when the Tar Heels host UNC Wilmington.
In fifth place, Jim Calhoun is tied with former Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp at 876 wins.
Calhoun, the legendary UConn coach, who now coaches at Division III Saint Joseph’s in Hartford, will have his wins at the small school count toward his career total, since he spent the majority of his years at a Division-I school.
It’s unlikely either Huggins or Williams will catch Calhoun or Rupp this season, meaning they will battle it out for sixth place.
Limiting turnovers
For the third consecutive game, the Mountaineers finished with less turnovers than their opponents.
West Virginia had nine turnovers against the Penguins, the second time it was under 10 this season.
A good person to look at in this category is West Virginia forward Esa Ahmad, who leads the Mountaineers with 21 turnovers, but didn’t have one against Youngstown State and has committed only four in his last three games.
“I’ve been trying to convince him — and there is a lot of statistical things to back it up — he plays much better when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands all the time,” Huggins said.

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