The West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats welcomed in a new head coach in the off-season. He's not just any coach. He's former WVU Mountaineer Patrick Beilein.
With the hiring of Beilein, Wesleyan has had four different head coaches in as many years. The winning formula has remained the same. The Bobcats have gone to the NCAA Division II Tournament each of the last two seasons. Wesleyan even advanced to the second round last year.
WVWC tipped off its season at home last Friday with a 25-point win over Shenandoah. The Bobcats sank 13 three-pointers in that win.
Coach Beilein said he's happy with the progress his team has made, and his players are loving the new offensive system.
"I liked that we shot the ball well," commented Coach Beilein. "We shot it with confidence. We made 13 threes, so obviously I really like that. But our timing was a little off and that's to be expected with it being so early reading screens and things like that. But overall, I was pleased offensively scoring over 70 points."
"It's nice, I like it a lot, of course," said Forward T. J. Thompson. "I'm playing a little bit of the four-spot this year, which is something new to me. But it's working out well so far. I like it a lot. I get a lot of open shots."
Aside from the hiring of Coach Beilein, the other major news in the off-season was the addition of former WVU Mountaineer Noah Cottrill. The freshman point guard was a high school standout in West Virginia, starring for Logan in 2010 but Cottrill was dismissed from Coach Bob Huggins' WVU team before ever playing a game in Morgantown.
Cottrill's road back to the basketball court has brought him to Buckhannon. He led the team in scoring with 22 points during last week's season-opening win.
Simply put, Cottrill said it's a relief to finally be playing college basketball.
"I was nervous, to be honest with you," said Cottrill. "I let a lot of people down the first time around. So I felt that I had an obligation, not only to myself, but to my fans, to try and turn it around and improve to be a better person on and off the court. So I felt like it was a key success for my and my team."
The Bobcats will be on the road for their next game when they dive into conference play. First up is the No. 1 ranked West Liberty Hilltoppers.