That is how West Virginia’s players are looking upon what is happening to them these days.
Yes, they went to Baylor and upset the Bears. Then they returned home and bounced Kansas State, a team that had handed them their worst defeat of the season a couple of weeks earlier.
Some people, quite naturally, see things like this happen and begin to think they have arrived.
Well, West Virginia’s players aren’t laying claim to anything yet.
“We ain’t done nothing yet,” is the way guard Eron Harris put it. “What if we were the team that was supposed to win a big game at home. It’s just a game. We haven’t done anything yet. We have accomplished little, small goals inside our big goals, which are to win the conference title and the national championship.”
That isn’t this year, certainly not with two players they had counted upon to balance them inside and outside failing to earn eligibility.
So this year they carry six guns into the battles loaded with just three bullets, and that doesn’t lead to fair fights.
“For all I know we have to stay consistent right now and stay humble,” Harris continued. “We’ve taken steps. We just have to keep taking steps. We can’t go backward. We have to keep moving forward.
“We are a lot more together now. We spend more time together. We’ve finally got some good wins together and when people win together they come to appreciate each other better. They start to accept their roles. This is working.
“We just have to stay consistent in all aspects … in our mindsets, our physicality. It never was easy.”
But you can see that they appreciate each other and what each brings to the table, and next year it should really grow, for this week Juwan Staten, who has taken ownership of the team and is coming off his biggest game with a career-high 35-point performance against K-State, declared he planned to return next year for his senior season.
With him back for a second season with this group and with the missing pieces added, WVU looks very much like a contender in the Big 12.
Coach Bob Huggins has been behind Staten ever since he got him via transfer from Dayton, even when he struggled last season and had trouble scoring.
“Honest to God, I thought Wanny could score,” Huggins said after the Wildcats were defeated Saturday. “I thought we’d get more out of bigs, but they are getting better. They just don’t understand how hard it is. It’s a hard game. They play hard for a while, then they relax and you can’t do that.”
But Juwan Staten, Eron Harris and Terry Henderson, along with Remi Dibo and Nathan Adrian, offer an alternative to leaning on the bigs this season with Staten now the key figure.
“He could do this any time he wants. He could do this every game. We are all proud of him and will stay behind him,” Henderson said.
And what you are seeing now grew out of the warmth of the summer as they polished what they started during the disappointing 2012-13 losing season.
“We spend time in the summer playing every day,” Henderson explained. “We play with each other every day in the summer, so we know each other. It was just a matter of experience, of us taking our role personal and trying to perfect it. If everyone plays his role, we’re really hard to guard and to beat.”
Staten’s role is to provide the spark while the others feed off of him.
“Wanny’s role is to make things happen and lead the team. He has a lot on his shoulders, but he’s done a great job so far,” Henderson said.
Then, if you get Dibo or Adrian going, WVU becomes special.
“A fourth guy makes it really hard for defenses,” Henderson said. “It keeps everything spread and makes it hard for them to guard Wanny. He can drive on them. Ain’t nobody can stay in front of him.”
Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel
Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS
Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.
Falcons set for spring game
Football is back … well, kind of.
Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.
HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age
The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
“There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”
Hillberry commits to Wesleyan
Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.
O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall
Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.
North, East softball earn blowout wins
The North Marion softball team was at it again Wednesday night.
Mattie Polling tripled and singled, starting pitcher Chelsi Latocha doubled and gave up just one hit as the Huskies rolled to another 3-inning mercy-rule victory over Lewis County, 18-1.
Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2
Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.
Pens squander lead, fall to Columbus
Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS
They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.
Mascaro signs with FSU
Gabi Mascaro is staying in Fairmont.
After considering several out-of-state colleges, the Fairmont Senior soccer standout signed her National Letter of Intent Tuesday to continue her career at Fairmont State University, an upstart program which will play its first games in 2015.
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