MORGANTOWN - Odds and ends and a few things I think I think while hoping that Truck Bryant's "fans'' aren't going a bit overboard:
Yes, Bryant was 3-for-17 shooting Saturday against Louisville. And no, with the exception of an clutch performance against Providence the West Virginia guard hasn't been that good of late.But then comes news that late Saturday/early Sunday Bryant was the victim in an incident outside a downtown Morgantown bar. What his injuries were police aren't saying, but they were called by someone else to the scene and found Bryant injured.Whatever happened, Bryant refused medical treatment and apparently isn't filing charges. But don't you have to hope two things?One is that Bryant himself is smart enough to stay out of situations that might get him in trouble in the wee hours of the morning.
And two is that some moron didn't pick a fight or hit him because he didn't play well. Yes, Dana Holgorsen still has two openings on his WVU football staff. And no, he's in no hurry to fill them.And why should he be? Take your time and get the right guys. Spring practice is still a month away, recruiting is at its most leisurely period of the calendar year and coaches aren't allowed to coach right now anyway.As for potential candidates, well, who knows? But two ames out there are fairly intriguing. Al Holcomb is a WVU grad who just won a Super Bowl ring on the Giants' staff and Bob Simmons is a guy with WVU and Big 12 ties, having worked on Don Nehlen's original staff as linebackers coach and served as Oklahoma State's head coach from 1995 through 2001. Ah, still waiting for West Virginia and the Big 12 to get their football scheduling act together.At this point, of course, the absence of a schedule just 51/2 months before practice begins has nothing to do with West Virginia and it's two-step with the Big East. Putting WVU into the mix was done long ago. The thought was that the whole thing wasn't announced because the Big 12 didn't want to ruffle the Big East's feathers, even though both sides knew how it was going to turn out.It's called diplomacy, right?But the schedule isn't waiting just on documents to be signed and $20 million to exchange accounts. Oklahoma, for instance, still didn't have a 12th game as of Monday. And depending upon who that turns out to be - and when - it could force other dates to be altered. Other schools apparently face other issues with dates, TV, all sorts of things.So hurry up and wait. If you're betting, though, count on opening at home against Marshall, playing Oklahoma at home and Texas on the road, having five Big 12 home games rather than four (that will change each year, just as it did in the Big East) and, of course, not seeing Pitt for the first time since 1942 or Syracuse for the first time since 1954.Oh, and the season will likely end in November instead of December for the first time since 2004 and will have only one open week. Right now that looks like it might be the second week of the season (not good), but that's also another of those things that could change. And finally, speaking of not playing Pitt and Syracuse, that's one of those complaints we keep hearing about from those who remain steadfastly opposed to West Virginia's move from the Big East to the Big 12 - the loss of traditional rivalries.Well, there are a lot of negatives to this whole move (travel for fans and non-revenue sports being chief among them), but lost rivalries are not among them. By 2014, and perhaps sooner, the longest-running rivalries West Virginia would have in the Big East would be with Rutgers and Connecticut, and that's providing that those two don't find the alternative conference lifeboat they so desperately seek.And I'm thinking no one is crying over the loss of either.Pitt and Syracuse? They'll make it back on the schedule, although not likely on an every-year basis. Pitt is the most likely, perhaps on some sort of rotating basis with Maryland.
Oh, and don't count on Pitt disappearing from the basketball schedule, either. There are plenty of spots for that to be a non-league game almost every year if desired. The teams have met every year since 1917, including the various times they weren't in the same league, like the 13 years between Pitt's entrance into the Big East in 1982-83 and when WVU came aboard in 1995-96.Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or email@example.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.