The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

January 14, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU not dead yet

MORGANTOWN — “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.“ – Mark Twain, after learning that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal.



Forget about burying West Virginia University’s men’s basketball team right now.

I know what you were thinking there in the first half Wednesday night when South Florida was having its way with West Virginia, when Dominique Jones was hitting everything he threw at the rim and the Mountaineers were hitting nothing.

I was thinking it, too. The malaise from the Notre Dame game was hanging heavily over the Mountaineers. Da’Sean Butler’s shot was as bad as it had been in Notre Dame when he hit but 4 of 20 from the field. Kevin Ebanks was still on his extended vacation. Kevin Jones was MIA.

It was enough, at times, to make even Bob Huggins raise his voice, and you know it takes something big, like the sun coming up in the East in the morning, to make that happen.

When the score slipped to 23-12 … well, quite frankly, there were thoughts of beginning this piece like this:

The West Virginia Mountaineers bid for a Big East championship, a high seed in the NCAA Tournament and, perhaps, and NCAA championship came to an end after a brief illness Wednesday night in Tampa, Fla.

The 2009-2010 Mountaineers were just two months old.

They are surivived by thousands of fans and their creator, Bob Huggins.

But, as it was with Mark Twain, the reports of their death were greatly exaggerated.

“I called a time out and said, ‘Do you just want to get down 20 and then start playing like at Notre Dame. Just give me the number we have to get down before you start to play,’” Huggins said after the game.

The resurrection of the Mountaineers began when Da’Sean Butler, of whom it is fair to say as he goes so go the Mountaineers, finally hit a jump shot. Coming off a 4-for-20 shooting performance at Notre Dame, it appeared that he had gone from being a deadeye shooter to a shooter with a dead eye.

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WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU depth chart sends messages

    Perhaps the most impressive thing about the depth chart West Virginia University put out at the end of spring practice was that the coaches were able to put out a depth chart, which certainly is an improvement over a year ago when the Mountaineers were really short on quality players.

    April 25, 2014

  • WVU baseball hosts K-State in Big 12 clash

    The West Virginia University baseball team will host Kansas State in a key Big 12 Conference series thisweekend at Hawley Field.
     Game one begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, game two begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the first pitch for game three is set for noon on Sunday.

    April 25, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall

    Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- West Liberty’s Crutchfield not interested in Division I

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coaching job at an NCAA Division I university.

    April 23, 2014

  • 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

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