Tarik Phillip saved the day on January 23 for then-No. 6 West Virginia. The junior guard scored the final eight points of the game to seal the deal against an unranked Texas Tech team. In fact,
As many Mountaineer fans have noticed, Phillip has one of the most intense personalities when it comes to being in front of the camera during and after a Mountaineer victory.
If you’re anything like me, you can probably read lips when the camera gets in his face. Don’t be alarmed, though. According to Tarik, it’s pure emotion. That raw, unfiltered emotion serves a positive purpose to both he and his teammates.
“That’s the dude inside me trying to come out. I just like to play with emotion,” said Phillip. “That’s what gets the people going. That’s what gets my teammates going.”
‘That dude’ inside of Phillip endured a long and winding journey to reach the Division I level. Though it wasn’t easy, Phillip says that’s what made him into the valuable asset he’s become.
“I feel like that’s what made me what I am,” he said. “It humbled me while I was there from playing in prep school to going to junior college, it was just humbling, a humbling experience. I still talk to people that’s there now and they continue to encourage me.”
Since the season began, Phillip has become one of the most vital players to come off the West Virginia bench. Through the last five games, he’s put up a substantial 45 points.
If Phillip has anything to do with it, the Press Virginia squad will continue to bring the excitement as they head to Florida for an unusual eastern timezone game against the Gators.
Rest assured, the No. 12 will pack his fierce facial expressions in his carry-on, just in case.
“We’re in a decent spot I feel like,” he said. “We’ve got a few things to clean up, but I’m sure the coaching staff will have us ready to go. We got a little bit of maturing to do, but we’ll be alright.”
No. 9 West Virginia will meet Florida in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge on January 30. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. on ESPN.