The Times West Virginian

Sports

January 22, 2013

Is recruiting WVU’s problem?

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia University men’s basketball team (8-9, 1-3 Big 12) is headed for the school’s worst record since 2001-02.

It was so pitiful in last Saturday’s 79-52 blowout at Purdue (10-8, 3-2 Big 10) that coach Bob Huggins called it “totally unacceptable” in his postgame radio interview.

What’s more, he apologized to WVU fans and to the people of the state of West Virginia.

With few exceptions, the Mountaineers have lacked consistency and the season is more than half gone. And all the remaining 14 games are in the Big 12 Conference.

Huggins has tried a variety of changes and twists to put this team on a winning track. But little seems to work.

He doesn’t think his players perform hard enough competitively. He hints strongly that they don’t grasp what they’re told to do at times.

It is not what you can call a good shooting team. Defense is good, but at times there are lapses.

Huggins certainly is a great coach. He ranks No. 3 among the nation’s active winningest mentors.

Meanwhile, there are some observers who question West Virginia’s recent recruiting classes. They think that’s a problem.

I don’t know. I’m most certainly not a coach. But one critic said, “I’ve been blaming the recruiting all along.”

Poor shooting admittedly has been a problem. WVU shot only 29 percent from the field (17 of 58) against Purdue, which made 49.2 percent of its field goal attempts (29 of 59).

The Boilermakers had four scorers in double figures (17, 16, 11, 10). West Virginia’s only one was Eron Harris, with just 10 points.

The Mountaineers did connect on 15 of 20 free throws, but were outrebounded 44-34 and committed 17 turnovers.

“I never saw this coming,” Huggins said. “I honestly didn’t.”

Last year’s record was 19-14 and 9-9 in the Big East.

“We will be better this year, a lot better,” the veteran coach told me last fall.

The Mountaineers return home to play TCU (9-9, 0-5 Big 12) Wednesday night and they visit Oklahoma State (12-4, 2-2) on Saturday.

Following the loss at Purdue, Huggins said, “I’ve never had a guy in my (31-year) career that wouldn’t compete. Our shooting was terrible. It shouldn’t stop us from rebounding.

“And we threw the ball away. We turned the ball over to them. All I’m asking them to do is block out on rebounds. And we make stupid fouls.”

He told the squad that he was going out to the broadcast crew to apologize to WVU fans and West Virginia residents “that this is totally unacceptable.”

“This is not what we are supposed to represent.”

Huggins expressed hope that those who support his program have enough faith in him that he’ll fix the problems eventually.

“I don’t know that I can this year, but we will fix it.

“That was as worthless an effort as anyone could possibly give.

“I saw things that were unexplainable. Unexplainable.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Steelers’ Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

    July 28, 2014

  • All tickets claimed for LeBron’s homecoming show

    LeBron James’ Ohio hometown says fans quickly claimed the thousands of tickets available for the homecoming event expected to be his first public appearance in the state since announcing his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    July 28, 2014

  • FSU to hold Falcon Fantasy Camp

    Ever want to be a college football coach? Now you’ll have your chance thanks to Fairmont State University’s Falcon Fantasy Camp.

    July 28, 2014

  • Lawyer: Wife plotted to take over Sterling trust

    A lawyer argued Monday that the estranged wife of Donald Sterling plotted to strip his client from the family trust that owned the Los Angeles Clippers after the head of the NBA said she couldn’t negotiate a sale of the franchise unless she owned all the shares.

    July 28, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • Steelers’ Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG Post 17 falls short in Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.
    Post 17 Fairmont is hoping that they’ve now gotten all of its bad games out of the way, falling to Post 2 Morgantown, 10-0, via a 7th inning mercy rule, crowning Morgantown Area II American Legion champions.
    After playing 18 innings the night before, Fairmont couldn’t seem to get anything going at East Fairmont High School Sunday afternoon.
    As rain clouds loomed over the field, so, too, did one settle in over Post 17’s offense, Fairmont collecting just four hits the entire game.
    “Definitely not one of our better games as a team,” Fairmont’s Austin Norman said of his team’s performance. “We’ll come up tomorrow, hit and get on the same page.”

    July 28, 2014 7 Photos

  • Harrison’s 4 hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday.

    July 27, 2014

  • MLB inducts newest members into Hall of Fame

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.

    July 27, 2014

  • Post 17 falls short of Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos