The Times West Virginian

WVU 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
WVU Sports
  • Arrest warrant out for WVU recruit

    West Virginia University’s newest men’s basketball recruit, Tarik Phillip, has an order out for his arrest in North Carolina, according to a story in The Dominion-Post, which said three Gaston County Magistrate office spokespersons confirmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • WVU baseball powers past Oklahoma, 9-5

    The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

    April 20, 2014

  • 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

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