BLUEFIELD, WV -- Coming off a three game winning streak, Bluefield State has struggled all season to find their game. But suddenly all of this changed. Since Jan. 7, the team has won four of its last seven games. With a win over Tusculum, the Big Blues are now 5-15 overall as they fell to Malone on Saturday night.
But most of this winning success is due to efforts by senior guard Joshua Windham, who led the team with 26 points in the win over Tusculum and 24 points against Malone.
Coach Derrick Price, who became Bluefield State men's basketball coach back in August, made the decision to move Windham to the point guard position at the beginning of the year. Ever since the move, the Big Blues have been playing better basketball. "He has actually stepped up as a senior and as a leader on this basketball team," said Price. "We moved him to point guard and we have actually seen some success that way."
So far, Windham has a season average of 18.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, on 40.7 percent three-point shooting. However, he has stepped his game up a bit. The Clarksdale native has averaged 24.1 points in the last seven games. "Since I've been a point guard I have just felt better with the ball, more comfortable with the game and with the ball to create for everybody else," said Windham.
From an offensive standpoint, he has done an exceptional job at setting up plays and dominating the ball. His ability to get to the free throw line and knock down game changing and turnaround shots proves that he is reliable and clutch as he is able to open shots up for others as well as himself.
"I just feel like these guys are playing a lot better," said Coach Price of his team's performance in the last seven games. "They actually trust in their teammates and willing to make that extra pass."
Windham leads the team in scoring (18.1), rebounding (5.8), and minutes (32.4). He is also second in 3-point shots with 50 total, and third in blocked shots with 8.
His contributions to the team has assisted with turning around a 1-11 season prior to the new year. As the season comes close to an end, the Big Blues still have six games remaining in the season.
A junior in the classroom but a senior on the court, Windham's stellar performance against Tusculum showcases an array of skills he possesses that was far beyond impressive. Going 3-for-6 from behind the arc, he was 11 of 20 from inside shooting as the Big Blues defeated the Pioneers.
The 6-foot-1 senior, who also lettered in football and baseball at Clarksdale High (Miss.), first attended Northwest Mississippi Community College before later transferring to Southern Miss. It was there where he was a member of the practice squad with the Division I Golden Eagles.
Windham decided to move to West Virginia and attend Bluefield State in 2015, where he is a dual major in marketing and management. In his first season with the Blues, he averaged 11.9 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Bluefield State has struggled for decades to create a winning program. However, Coach Price is working towards building a team that will play and win a national tournament title of their own. The team started slow under his leadership, but have been able to find their way as improvements have been made. As many of players on the roster are returning and talented recruits en route, Windham plans to return next season for one more year on the hardwood.
With six games remaining, the Big Blue will split the games in half with three being on the road while the rest are home games. Next Tuesday, Bluefield State will travel to Alderson-Broaddus for a matchup before hosting their last home game against them on Feb. 21 for Senior Night, honoring the 5 seniors playing in their final season.