Seth Wilson is on a mission to go from streaky shooter to finding consistency

MORGANTOWN — As far as can be told from a Google search, the actress Drew Barrymore never played basketball.

She did, however, come up with this gem of a quote:

“I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times,” Barrymore said. “More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.”

WVU men’s basketball guard Seth Wilson knows exactly what Barrymore is saying.

The junior from Lorain, Ohio had a stretch Monday night that could have equaled the performance of any NBA superstar.

He made 4-of-6 shots from the field and added two rebounds. He was a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc, including one he took while leaning to the side and off-balanced.

Wilson’s 11 points in that stretch helped the Mountaineers erase a 30-24 halftime deficit and turn it into a 47-40 lead in what turned out to be a 67-59 victory against Missouri State.

That stretch took all of seven minutes. Spread that same output over a 40-minute college game and you’d have around 62 points — not bad.

Except Wilson’s game was summed up in those seven minutes. He never scored the rest of the way.

“The goal is to be consistent for 40 minutes,” Wilson said. “I’m just glad I could provide what I provided in the time being.”

The Mountaineers are glad, too, because without Wilson’s hot streak, it may have been a different outcome.

Wilson spent the entire first half in the same boat with his teammates, in that no one could make a shot.

WVU head coach Josh Eilert suspects he may have had something to do with Wilson not being able to shoot early.

Eilert’s father passed away six years ago, while Wilson lost his father during his freshman season at WVU.

“I told him before the game, ‘Seth, your dad would be mighty proud of you,’” Eilert said. “He got a little emotional. I got a little emotional. He said, ‘Coach, you can’t do that before a game.’ I’ll take credit for the way he shot in the first half, just because I put that on him.

“I did want him to know how proud of him his dad would be in how far he’s come. He’s had some resiliency and stuck through it.”

Wilson’s career to this point has been that of a streaky shooter, one who is also able to take the most difficult of shots and somehow get them to go through the basket.

There is no secret to his shot-making ability. It comes through tons of work.

“Seth is in an open gym by himself,” WVU forward Quinn Slazinski said. “In practice, Seth will blow it up and hit 10 threes in a row.”

Finding consistency, though, in such an inconsistent game is maybe the most unattainable achievement in basketball.

Yet Wilson has earned the trust of his teammates and seems poised to go on that journey.

“The biggest difference was trust,” Wilson said. “The first half, I don’t think we knew what each other was going to do and how to go about it. The second half, we just started to trust each other and that was the difference.”

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