The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 13, 2010


MORGANTOWN — No one possibly can know if West Virginia University’s No. 9-ranked men’s basketball team will win tonight in its game at South Florida because no one can possibly know how the team will react to the tough loss it suffered on the road at Notre Dame.

See, life on the road in the Big East is much like a journey deep into the unknown parts of the universe.

You don’t know what you’ll find.

Sometimes you play against your opponent, sometimes against the officials, sometimes against the crowd.

A good team, like West Virginia’s No. 8/9 Mountaineers, can beat any one of them at any time, sometimes even two of them.

Not all three at once, and that happens.

Sometimes you can’t beat any of them, if you go in as the Mountaineers did at Notre Dame, mentally not ready to take on a good team before a rowdy crowd in a game where officials weren’t going to give them any breaks.


“We have to play 40 minutes,” said coach Bob Huggins.

His team played 20, which was enough to only come close. Falling behind the Irish by 20 points was too many, too high a hill to climb, especially when there was another lesson the game.

“We can’t continue to have other people shoot 24 free throws and us shoot 4. We have to get to the line,” said Huggins.

That means create of offense, no matter whether it’s a tight zone like the Irish threw at WVU or a man-to-man that allows you to force the issue.

Four free throws and 34 3-point shots do not add up to victory.

South Florida is not Notre Dame.

But it is a Big East team on its home floor facing a team coming off a loss that has to be somewhat confused about itself if nothing else.

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Bob Herzel
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