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Malik Curry has quickly turned into the spark plug of WVU’s offense

For the vast majority of the season, Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers were looking for someone to score the ball besides Taz Sherman and Sean Mcneil. As the saying goes, better late than never, and that’s exactly where Malik Curry comes in.

Curry flashed the scoring potential at various points throughout the season, but could never find the consistency the Mountaineers needed. It also felt like he was never fully involved in the offense, and his scoring would come at the expense of the team. This could have been him still not feeling comfortable in the offense, or him feeling pressured to have to be the scorer the team needed. 

That changed when the Mountaineers visited Iowa State on Feb. 23, when Curry scored 19 points on only nine shots, and made his first three-pointer’s of conference play. Not only did Curry have a great game scoring the ball, but he actually did it in the flow of the offense and not at the expense of it. 

This started a streak of four games to close out the regular season of at least 10 points. This included a season-high 27 points against Texas where he was able to generate 13 foul shots off his aggressive driving to the rim. 

The biggest difference between these high scoring games for Curry, and the ones in the past, were that he was able to also get his teammates involved. In the past every time he drove to the rim it would result in a shot, no matter how wild, but in these games Curry was able to kick the ball out to open shooters and generate offense for others. The assists still may not have been there, but it was there, and it changes the dynamic of the offense when the defense has to also be prepared for kick-outs. 

This culminated in Curry playing a large role in West Virginia’s win in the first round of the Big 12 Conference tournament over Kansas State. Curry had 17 points on only 12 shots, and once again looked comfortable running the show on offense. 

Curry was able to not only get to the rim, but also took the shots that were available to him, including hitting another three-pointer. Curry would be predicable in the past, always going left, but recently has opened up his bag to show he can score in a variety of ways.

“My coaches put me in the right situations that make the best for me,” Curry said. “Everyone knows I am left-handed and like going left. But they put me in different situations, and different actions where I can go downhill in a different way.” 

If this is the Curry we saw all year, who knows how different the Mountaineers record could be, but for now we can just hope that Curry can help the Mountaineers have a Cinderella run in the Big 12 Tournament.

Photo from Big 12 Conference

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