Week In Review
“I want to apologize to our fans, apologize to the people in the state of West Virginia. This is totally unacceptable. This is not what we’re supposed to represent and hopefully they have enough faith in me that I will fix it.” – Coach Huggins after the big loss to Purdue.
Never good to start off a post with a quote like that, is it? We were coming off of two games that we should have won. Controversial officiating and stupid plays in the final seconds cost us against Kansas State and Iowa State. But we were playing the best basketball we’d played all year. It seemed like we had finally turned a corner and were ready to put it all together. But that couldn’t have been further from reality.
Here’s all you need to know about the 79-52 embarrassment of a loss to Purdue… for the first time in my life, I turned a Mountaineer game off because I couldn’t bear to watch any more. There are no words to describe just how bad we were in that game and I’m not going to rehash it. We sucked in every facet. I’ll let Coach Huggins sum it up (go here for more):
- “I told our guys, honestly… I didn’t see it coming. I did not see it coming.”
- “I’ve done this a long time and I haven’t seen the stupid stuff that we do”
- “It just seems like every time I think I maybe got something figured out that could work, they say, ‘Eh, we can screw this up, too. He thinks he’s going to figure this out, we’ll screw it up good.’”
If anyone can fix it, it’s Bob Huggins. But it’s sure looking questionable right now.
Following that debacle the Mountaineers returned home to face TCU. This was one of our easier games of the year and a game that shouldn’t have been anywhere near close. And thankfully, it wasn’t. We made plenty of mistakes in this game. There were tons of missed assignments, stupid passes, bad turnovers, stupid shots taken… you know the drill by now. The most frustrating thing was missing 15 free throws. We were a miserable 16-31 from the line. We might have won by 21 points, but it didn’t reallyfeel like it. Huggins was throwing anyone and everyone in the game in an attempt to find players who “get it”. 10 players saw 10+ minutes and he played another 2 for more than 5 minutes. The unquestioned star of the game was Eron Harris, who contributed a career high 19 points in 27 minutes of action. But the whole team was pretty inconsistent. It’s pretty hard to read too much into our win because we were playing a pretty mediocre team. We play some really good teams in the next week, so we need to get better, fast. Huggs still wasn’t too pleased after the game:
- “We give up more layups than any team in America… we get tired and we just kinda stand there. It’s frustrating.”
- “We’re 16-31 from the foul line. That’s inexcusable with the [basketball practice] facility we have.”
- “I want guys that are committed to this basketball program, to this university, and to our fans. If other things are more important, get out.”
- “I’m so upset because I’m tired of it. I’m fed up. I’m tired of guys standing around wondering what to do.”
On a side note, the WVU-TCU game might have been the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen in my entire life (I’ve probably said that a few times this year, but it just keeps getting worse). In all honesty, we probably got more calls than TCU, but it was just terrible. I cannot understand how an official can stand 2 feet away from the ball, stare directly at the ball, clearly see Aaron Brown dribble the ball completely out of bounds, and not make a call. There were at least 10 easy calls that they blatantly got wrong. And the fouls. They’d let you tackle someone, but you couldn’t graze them with your hand. It was ridiculous. I really thought going to the Big 12 would mean better officials, because I thought it was bad in the Big East, but I’d love to have those officials back now.
Player of the Week: Mountaineer fans.
We all deserve it for watching any part of the Purdue game. If you made it through that whole abomination, you’re either a hopeless optimist or just a better fan than I. But either way, you showed more talent than anyone on the team did.
- Saturday 1/26 @ Oklahoma State
- Monday 1/28 vs. Kansas
This is a tough stretch for the Mountaineers. We should be heavy underdogs in both games, and honestly we’ll be lucky to keep it close in either if we don’t drastically improve our play. Even if we play at our best, we’d have to shoot lights out to stay close with Kansas. Right now we’re really just playing to stay at .500, so we need to find a way to win in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State is 12-5 with an impressive win over #6 NC ST on their record. They are a middle of the pack offensive team but play good team defense. This should be a low scoring game. Hopefully some of our shooters catch fire and we steal one here.
#3 Kansas comes in for the first of back-to-back home Big Monday games for the Mountaineers, and the Jayhawks provide our toughest test of the year. There’s not much they do wrong. They’re 17-1 and riding a 16 game winning streak. They’re a good scoring and rebounding team and they shoot the ball well. They play pretty solid defense. Simply put, we are way outmatched in this game. We need someone to step up and have the game of his life if we want to win. I just hope we keep it respectable.
News and Notes
- Terry Henderson saw 27 minutes against TCU, but still appears to be limited by a back injury. He scored only 3 points after going 1-6 from the field.
- No Mountianeer saw more than 27 minutes of action against TCU. Not very often do you see not one player on a team get at least 30 minutes of playing time.