The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 6, 2013

WVU faces Sooners a third time

MORGANTOWN — If West Virginia is going to have any chance to upset Oklahoma in tonight’s 9 o’clock game, freshman Eron Harris is going to have to play better against them than he has this year.

This is a rare third regular season meeting between two conference teams, WVU having lost to the Sooners, 77-70, for third place in the Old Spice Classic in November and then Oklahoma ruined the Mountaineers’ first Big 12 Conference game on Jan. 5, taking a 67-57 decision at the Coliseum.

WVU enters the game with a 13-16 record, 6-10 in Big 12 play. If they lose they will be the first Bob Huggins team to lose five straight games. He lost four in a row previously in his first year as a Division I coach at Akron in 1984-85.

To end the streak, his team will have to shoot better than it has been doing and that means that freshmen Terry Henderson and Harris, the two shooting threats, will have to have big games.

Henderson is coming off a 20-point performance in a 91-65 loss at Kansas, a game in which Harris had 11 points. The previous game, against Baylor, Harris scored a season-high 25 points.

Those two first-year players have been the only real scoring threats all season, but against Oklahoma, Harris has been dreadful, hitting just one of 10 shots in the two games.

Now it’s true that they were early season games, before he had built his confidence and before Huggins had confidence in him, but it’s obvious that WVU needs him to at least provide some kind of scoring threat to take pressure off Deniz Kilicli down low and give the Mountaineers a balanced offense.

“Teams didn’t guard him before,” Huggins said. “He was the guy you helped off of. Now they can’t help off of him. He has been a focal point of everybody’s game preparation.”

Harris has taken over as WVU’s top scorer this year, although you won’t hear him bragging about it even though should he hang on to that he would be the first freshman to lead WVU in scoring since Warren Baker in 1973.

Baker, however, averaged 16.6 points a game while Harris doesn’t even average double figures, averaging 9.5 points a game.

You have to go back to 1944 to find the last time WVU had no player average double figures, and to 1931 to find a year when someone led the team in scoring averaging less than 9.5 points a game, that being Edwin Bartug at 6.1 points a game.

No wonder they called those years the Great Depression.

Harris figures to see his average rise as he has become the man WVU is asking to shoot the ball. He has shot the ball 31 times in the past two games.

Interestingly, WVU has not found a way to get both Henderson and Harris hot at the same time, which has made it difficult for them to score 70 points in a game.

It’s been Feb. 2 since WVU has reached 70 points, and during that span the Mountaineers have won only three of eight games.

One of the major problems has been that the freshmen scorers have had little help from the sophomores.

“I’m not trying to say this as a negative, but our sophomores have shot 10-12 percentage points lower than a year ago and we didn’t get the impact from the transfers,” Huggins said.

The result is that WVU is shooting just 40.1 percent for the year, which is not good enough to win the Big 12.

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

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • WVU athletic department to form Fan Experience Committee

    The West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is forming a fan experience committee to discuss the needs of Mountaineer fans with the hopes of enhancing the fan experience at its events.

    April 22, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a long-time baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • 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

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