WVU basketball: Potential losses won’t make a bad season

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 30: Daxter Miles Jr.
MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 30: Daxter Miles Jr. /

The WVU basketball team is good enough to make the NCAA Tournament. That’s not a stretch anymore, it’s simply the expectation.

Under Bob Huggins, the WVU basketball team has only missed the tournament once. That was a rebuilding year for the Mountaineers in 2012-13 simply because it was the team’s first season in the Big 12 Conference.

Huggins previously coached at Kansas State, but only had that one year of Big 12 experience. Since that season, the Mountaineers have made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament, making it to the Sweet 16 twice. Under Huggins, the WVU basketball team has made it to the Sweet 16 or further four times. Most programs would kill for that kind of success.

it’s very possible the WVU basketball team will add a fifth trip to the Sweet 16 this season. The Mountaineers are currently riding a nice winning streak and are ranked in the top 10 in the national rankings.

It’s also very possible that the Mountaineers will lose some games in this upcoming conference schedule. In fact, it may be safe to assume they drop as many as five conference games. That’s actually the least amount of conference games the Mountaineers have lost under Huggins. They made the tournament in both of those season, obviously. The most in-conference losses the WVU basketball team has endured and still made the tournament is eight. This season, the Mountaineers will likely lose between five and eight games to Big 12 foes.

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The losses will frustrate fans and many people will think the sky is falling. That’s not the case, though. While the WVU basketball team is polished and can run as well as any team in the country, there will still be lapses on several occasions. First of all, this team has shown known struggles when shooting the ball.

On nights when Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles are off, James Bolden will probably follow suit. Hitting may be contagious in baseball and misses are certainly contagious in basketball. The Mountaineers are also known to get into foul trouble. There will be ticky-tack calls made on WVU basketball players because of the in-your-face style of defense they play. Some nights, referees may let it go. Other nights, the games will be called super tight.

Committing fouls and then missing their own foul shots will doom the Mountaineers. So will giving up runs to the other team. That’s a big reason why West Virginia isn’t undefeated right now. The Mountaineers got out to a double-digit lead on Texas A&M in the opener but ended up falling by more than 20 points. The defense broke down and those contagious misses on offense affected the whole team.

This season, West Virginia will also win some thrilling games. The team has already sold out the WVU Coliseum for the Oklahoma game and the Kentucky game will be the hottest ticket around in years. Even if the WVU basketball team loses a handful of games before Feb. 17, the fanbase will get back on board if West Virginia can go on the road and knock off Kansas.

Next: All-time WVU basketball team

There is a lot of hope and promise in this season for the WVU basketball team. The positive outlook should remain even after a few potential losses.