The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 8, 2012

Old rivals VT, WVU to play today

MORGANTOWN — A revived Virginia Tech basketball program invades the Coliseum for an important 4 p.m. battle with West Virginia University today, and if coach Bob Huggins has his way, it won’t be for the last time.

The teams, long-time rivals that go back to Huggins’ playing days, are operating under a two-year agreement after the series ended when Virginia Tech left the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“I’m all for the series being extended,” Huggins said. “I can’t speak for them. We played for 50-some consecutive years, then stopped playing.”

This, of course, is a transitory time at WVU as the team has moved from the Big East to the Big 12.

“I don’t know why we don’t continue to play Pitt and why we don’t play Virginia Tech. Why don’t we play the people we played all these years and have such great tradition with?” Huggins said. “The place is sold out tomorrow.”

And it’s sold out for a reason. WVU comes in off a hotly contested victory over Marshall that almost erupted into a free-for-all, while Virginia Tech comes in unbeaten at 7-0 and ranked as the No. 3 scoring offense in the country.

That, of course, sets up the timeless offense vs. defense setup, Virginia Tech averaging 86.1 points a game and led by Erick Green, a guard who also is third in the country in scoring at 24.9 points a game.

WVU gives up an average of 66 points a game, so something has to give.

When someone asked Huggins what he does when he runs into a high-powered offense like the Hokies, his answer was revealing.

“Honestly, you could ask them what they do when they run into a team that guards like we guard,” he said. “I think we will do a better job of guarding them than anyone else they’ve played. If we don’t we’re in trouble, but I think we’ll do the job.”

In truth, this is the way Huggins plays the game.

“I’ve said this a thousand times, generally speaking, we take people out of what they want to do. The truth is, we took Gonzaga out of what they wanted to do, but they were really, really good with throw and replace,” he said.

Gonzaga, of course, annihilated the Mountaineers in the season opener, one of their three losses in what is now a 3-3 season.

“We’ve taken everyone out of their sets. We just haven’t done a very good job guarding them when the floor gets spread,” Huggins said.

Huggins gets some big-time help for today’s game as the six-game suspension of newcomer Volodymyr Gerun is up and he’s eligible to play. The native of the Ukraine was sitting out because he had played professionally overseas.

At 6-10, he is the tallest of the Mountaineers, and it is said he is a strong outside shooter.

“The best thing he does is shoot the ball,” Huggins said. “We don’t really have a pick-and-pop guy, and I think he can do that.”

The Mountaineers’ biggest problem has been shooting the basketball, especially from 3-point range. They are hitting only 40.6 percent of their shots and just 23 percent from 3-point range, making good on 20 of them in the first six games.

Against Marshall, they failed to make a 3 until there was nine minutes left in the game and took only six 3-point shots, almost ending a streak of 428 games in which they hit a 3.

The men’s game will be followed by the women’s game against St. Bonaventure at 7:30 p.m.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him 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