The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

January 14, 2014

HERTZEL COLUMN- Predictions sometimes can go the other way

MORGANTOWN — Sometimes being a sports expert in the eyes of the public isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Take Monday night. Please.

Prior to West Virginia’s game with Texas, after studying all the numbers and watching warmups, your erstwhile sports columnist offered this via Twitter:

“Prediction: Big nite for Eron Harris vs. Texas. If I'm wrong, don't bother letting me know. I'll be well aware of it.”

Well, I was wrong … about as wrong as you can be … and I’m aware of it.

As is Harris.

See, my thinking was that Harris had been slumping lately but that Texas gave him the perfect opportunity to come out of it. With Juwan Staten and Terry Henderson having the hot hand in his place, they would have to defend them.

That would make things easier for Harris, and considering that Texas is the worst defense against the 3 in the Big 12, it wasn’t hard to envision Harris raining 3s on them as if he were Hurricane Eron.

Instead he continued his drought at its worst, making … well, not making any 3s.

OH-FOR-SEVEN!

He would finish 3 for 11 shooting with a season-low six points before fouling out.

Not that this should surprise anyone. I’m a guy who once bet eight NFL games in one day … and lost all eight.

Harris is now 4 for his last 24 in 3-point shooting, going 3 for 11 against Texas Tech, 1 for 6 against Oklahoma State and 0 for 7 against Texas.

So, after the game, there we were, Eron Harris and me in the club area where interviews take place, looking at each other eyeball to eyeball, me trying to feel compassion for him as he had to be deeply troubled at the moment and him, I believe, feeling the compassion he had.

There was a pregnant pause as we looked at each other his eyes saying “Go ahead, ask what you got to ask” and me trying to find a way to ask it without coming up with something like “Geez, that was awful, wasn’t it?”

So I asked him how he felt inside, pointing toward my belly, which is something he could not miss.

“I feel a lot inside of me … frustration, a lot of thoughts like what’s the answer for me, individually and what’s the answer for us. How can I get myself back going? What is the answer for us because, honestly, I’m tired of losing. There’s a lot of things inside me.”

And what’s inside of him hurts like a nail being driven through him.

“I missed shot after shot after shot after shot. It never got going for me and it’s the most frustrating thing in the world,” he said. “Two years ago I would probably have started crying in the game and tell my coach to take me out of the game. I tried to stay level emotionally and keep shooting my shot. That happens for individual players and I guess for a lot of us today.”

It wasn’t just Harris, of course. In fact, from the time Terry Henderson gave them a 3-0 lead until Nathan Adrian scored a 3 with 9:17 left, they missed 15 consecutive 3s.

“All of them were on line. They were just short, every single one,” Harris said. “Most of the time when we missed shots, we weren’t jumping high enough. We have to start bending our knees more and shooting it. We just came off that game against Oklahoma State and then practice. Of course we’re not going to have perfect legs.”

That sounded as if it made sense … except to Coach Bob Huggins.

“We were here yesterday. We watched a lot of film, we walked through some stuff and we practiced a little. They weren’t on their feet more than an hour. They were bouncy,” Huggins said.

“What I get a kick out of is that they all want to play in the NBA. As we know, they play 86 games in the NBA and maybe 100 if you’re in the playoffs. When they’re done, they go run on the treadmill to make sure that they’re in shape after they play 40 minutes. It’s not like they have a lot of time off. All of our players want to get to that, but this is hard for them,” Huggins continued.

“When our season is over, they haven’t even reached the All-Star break (in the NBA). I know the game is longer and faster, too, so if they can’t do this, they won’t be able to play in the NBA.”

Especially if the best they can do is make 4 of 25 3s against Texas.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos