Here are a few short items in which you may be interested:
• The West Virginia University men’s basketball team’s performance in Monday night’s 80-69 loss to Texas at home was its poorest in a long time.
The Mountaineers (10-7, 2-2 Big 12) disappointed the WVU Coliseum crowd of 8,706 in virtually every play phase, particularly shooting and rebounding.
In trailing the Longhorns by as many as 21 points, West Virginia shot only 37.7 percent (26-of-69). Even much worse, the team made just 4 of 25 shots from 3-point range.
The Mountaineers cashed 13 of 20 free throws (65 percent) against Texas (13-4, 2-2 Big 12).
WVU not only was outrebounded by 49-30, but allowed the visitors to shoot a sizzling 52.7 percent from the field (29-of-55).
Texas made 4 of 9 from 3-point range and 18 of 23 from the foul line (78.3 percent).
Give the Mountaineers some credit, though. They never quit in slicing 10 points off the largest deficit.
• The reported departure of Ford Childress from West Virginia’s sagging football program merely muddles the outlook further for the 2014 campaign.
The 6-foot-5, 224-pound redshirt freshman from Houston, Texas, would leave the Mountaineers with just two quarterbacks who have collegiate experience. He isn’t enrolled for this semester at WVU. He reportedly plans to transfer elsewhere.
Childress started just two games last season before being sidelined by a torn pectoral. As a result, he missed the final eight games of a 4-8 season.
This seemingly adds to the growing problems that Dana Holgorsen faces in preparing a football team in his fourth year as a head coach at any level of competition.
• I have received numerous emails in response to my column of last weekend. That was the one dealing with the question of whether WVU made a great mistake joining — hastily —t he Big 12 Conference two years ago.
I wrote that I firmly believe it was wrong, and it reportedly would cost the school $50 million for ever withdrawing from the conference.
Thinking and reasoning were presented for readers’ consideration. Happily, none of the emails received to date disagree totally with that column.
• On that subject, one of those emails in particular I found most interesting:
Jim S. wrote, “There are college athletes with obligations other than sports (allegedly).
“With the Big 12 move, prices and restrictions on seating, etc, (Oliver) Luck (the athletic director) has rebuilt the WVU athletic program to match the structure of professional teams (travel, time away from home base, prices, et al).
“This is in pursuit of dollars at the cost of education. Looking at it deeply, if I owned a company of almost any size, I would be careful about hiring a WVU athlete on the basis of his/her degree, given these circumstances.
“So far as the fans are concerned … who among them can afford to travel to most away games? And fewer of them are ready to pony up the price of admission at home.
“All of this adds up to shooting yourself in the foot and pretending it feels good.
Here are a few short items in which you may be interested:
- Mickey Furfari
FURFARI COLUMN: Women’s finale fitting as all-time Coliseum great
If you weren’t among the thrilled, extremely vocal 5,502 fans at the WVU Coliseum last Tuesday night, you missed one of the most memorable sports events in that 44-year-old arena’s history.
The No. 7 nationally ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team’s capture of the Big 12 Conference regular-season co-championship beating Kansas 67-60 on Senior Night was followed by a wild, wonderful celebration.
FURFARI COLUMN: Ex-WVU star loves coaching at FSU
Joe Mazzulla, a native of the Providence, R.I., area, now is in his first year as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Fairmont State University.
He had made his coaching debut during a two-year hitch as a member of the staff at Glenville State.
FURFARI COLUMN: Gee: Athletics must be ‘fully integrated into the life of the university’
Dr. E. Gordon Gee, now the acclaimed permanent president of West Virginia University for the second time, has a history of national involvement in intercollegiate athletics as well as academic affairs.
FURFARI COLUMN: Holgorsen’s idea on practices good but not original
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia University’s young head football coach, apparently has had a sudden change of heart toward the media and perhaps to those in a shrinking fan base.
With spring football practice starting on Sunday, Holgorsen has decided to open four of the permitted 15 practice sessions completely to the public as well as recognized reporters.
FURFARI COLUMN: Jim Ritchie was WVU standout in Jerry West era
Jim Ritchie, a resident of nearby Pt. Marion, Pa., was an outstanding basketball player at West Virginia University on the highly successful teams in 1958-59, 59-60 and 60-61.
The 6-foot-4 forward helped the Mountaineers to records of 29-5, 26-5 and 23-4. The Philadelphia native also played one year on a freshman team and was redshirted as a sophomore.
FURFARI COLUMN: McPherson recalls dramatic recruitment of Dale Blaney
Gary McPherson, longtime top assistant to former West Virginia University men’s head basketball coach Gale Catlett, recently recalled his somewhat dramatic recruitment of the great Dale Blaney at Hartford, Ohio, in the early 1980s.
FURFARI COLUMN: World-famous Heater about to turn age 72
Did you ever wonder what is the all-time highest number of points scored in a boys’ high school basketball game?
Thanks to friend Dr. Larry Schwab, I found out who set the world record, and retired attorney John Skinner of Charles Town helped by discovering that person’s telephone number for me.
FURFARI COLUMN: Carey, Huggins have WVU teams on hot rolls
Coach Mike Carey of the West Virginia women’s nationally No. 13 ranked basketball team could be the best he’s had in 13 years at the helm.
“I am very pleased where we are this season,” he said earlier this week. “We have five seniors and they have done a great job leading this team.”
FURFARI COLUMN- Holliday has Marshall’s 10-4 team back intact this year
John “Doc” Holliday, Marshall University’s outstanding head football coach, was asked earlier in the week, what were the keys to his 2013 team’s 10-4 record?
FURFARI COLUMN- West sees WVU getting better
Jerry West, the greatest basketball player in West Virginia University history, will tell you that he hasn’t given up on the inconsistent men’s team at his alma mater.
- More Mickey Furfari Headlines
- FURFARI COLUMN: Women’s finale fitting as all-time Coliseum great