basketball Edit

West Virginia guard Stevenson playing with confidence down the stretch

Stevenson has played some of his best basketball down the stretch for West Virginia.
Stevenson has played some of his best basketball down the stretch for West Virginia.

West Virginia guard Erik Stevenson has played some of his best basketball down the stretch.

The fifth year senior is coming off a five-game stretch where he’s averaged 24.6 points per game while shooting 45-97 from the field (46-percent) and 22-51 from three (43-percent). Stevenson has scored at least 23 points in each of those games while leading the Mountaineers to a 3-2 record in the process.

That stretch of five consecutive 23+ point games is something that had only been done four other times in the history of the program.

The Mountaineers needed to find ways to win games in order to strengthen their overall resume for the NCAA Tournament and Stevenson has consistently delivered in critical situations. He doesn’t hold back that each shot he makes the basket seems to get bigger and he shoots with that in mind.

“They put me in position to score and it’s my job to score,” he said.

The confidence that everybody in the program has in Stevenson has played a large role in that as West Virginia depends on the senior to put the ball in the basket. That has never been an issue with Stevenson himself as he plays with an unbridled level at all times.

But as the season as gone along, that has only intensified not only from him but from the top down across the entire roster as he has cemented himself in that role.

“It gives everybody in the program confidence. It gives my teammates confidence in me. It gives me more confidence if that’s possible. It gives the coaching staff confidence that they can rely on me and the other older guys,” he said. “I’m just blessed man, there aren’t many people that get put in the position like this and perform.”

A consummate competitor, Stevenson has embraced his role and what it means on this team. He has certainly been making the shots, but credits his teammates for helping him get in position to do so.

In fact, this is the first time over his five-year career that he has held a role like this.

“It’s special. It makes me look good, but really it’s them. I take some shots off the dribble but a lot of my stuff is off the catch. I just try to do my job move without the ball, get enough space and they find me and I just try to knock it down,” Stevenson said.

That was even true when Stevenson was struggling to hit shots earlier in the season. The trust from his teammates never wavered and that meant a lot to his overall development on this team. Stevenson understood that his teammates were depending on him and that allowed him to play looser.

“They’ve helped Erik probably more than anybody else has,” Huggins said.

Stevenson is looking forward to closing out the year on good note and is hoping that his level of play will carry over as the Mountaineers prepare to enter the most important games of the season.

“It feels great but the job is not finished,” Stevenson said.


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