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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
  • 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

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

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