Beilein, ’Cats prep for season
MORGANTOWN – Pat Beilein admittedly feels “very good” going into his second season as a men’s head basketball coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
The former West Virginia University standout, who had served as an assistant coach at Dartmouth and Bradley, led the Buckhannon Bobcats to a 12-15 record last season. Obviously, he’s hopeful that they can be more successful in 2013-14.
“I really enjoy being a head coach,” Beilein said. “And I am very happy being at W.Va. Wesleyan. This is a great opportunity for me.
“It is a wonderful private school, with great sports all around, and it has a long history.” He acknowledged that he hasn’t had any difficulty recruiting good players there.
“I believe we’ll have a solid foundation for our program in my second year,” said Beilein, whose father John did an outstanding job at WVU as head men’s basketball coach from years 2003-2007.
The elder Beilein is now the head coach at Michigan, where his son served as a graduate assistant.
“We have a lot of sophomores and juniors here (Wesleyan) this year, and I’m anxiously looking forward to see how we do,” Pat Beilein noted.
The Bobcats only return a handful of performers who really were significant contributors to last season’s efforts. T.J. Thompson was sidelined about halfway through the year with a shoulder injury.
He was averaging 11 points per game. Thompson and junior point guard Ray Warren, who started 25 games in 2012-13, will be counted on to lead the way this season.
Sophomore Soren Dossing hopes to add to his seven points per game he managed a year ago. Senior transfer Brett Ervin is expected to make an immediate impact up front along with Morgantown’s Taylor Price and Buckhannon’s Tanner McGraw.
Beilein even came up with a late recruit from Belgrade, Serbia, named Aleksandar Djordjevic. He expects to help at the point or wing positions.
Wesleyan, now a member of the new Mountain East Conference, will play an exhibition game at Bradley. The University of Buffalo, a second NCAA Division I team, is on the regular schedule.
West Liberty, the nation’s top Division II team the last three years in scoring, will be met twice by Wesleyan, along with home-and-home tilts with Fairmont State University.
Asked how much basketball he learned from his famous father, Pat replied, “It’s hard to describe in words what I learned playing for him and being around him. Everything I know about the game, I learned from Dad. It has been invaluable very much so.”
As a Mountaineer player, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound standout played in 128 games and earned letters in 2003-04-05-06. He was a team captain as a senior and he helped WVU to records of 14-15, 17-14, 24-11 and 22-11 competing in the Big East.
Beilein, who’s credited with two starts but averaged playing 21.8 minutes per game, made 308 field goals in 823 attempts, 242 three-point field goals in 675 attempts, 143 out of 184 free throws, and 1,001 points (7.8 ppg average).