Morgantown, West Virginia – Following West Virginia’s loss to Kansas – a game that put the Mountaineers at 14-12 with only five regular season games remaining – Bob Huggins had no answers as to how this season can be salvaged.
He mentioned his players missing layups. He discussed how his players don’t seem to want to compete.
But Bob Huggins had no real answers for what he can do to fix this mess that the Mountaineers have found themselves in.
Despite losing ten of its last eleven games, Huggins still believes that his team is an NCAA Tournament team. “Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t out of it. Everybody has 7-10 losses. Oklahoma is 14-13 and they’re still in according to the prognosticators. If they are in, we should be in too. There’s opportunity there. As long as there’s opportunity there, we’re going to keep fighting.”
Despite Huggins’ uncharacteristic optimism, teams that have lost so many games late in the season, and haven’t won many games that they should have lost, don’t make the NCAA Tournament. Unless the Mountaineers win out and make a run in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, their chances of making the NCAA Tournament are very, very low.
When asked what can be done at this point in the season to turn things around for his team, Huggins appeared to looked to the future of the Mountaineers program instead of addressing the issues with his current team.
“We need guys that are hungry,” Huggins said. “We don’t have guys that are hungry right now.”
But why isn’t Taz Sherman hungry? Or Sean McNeil? Why isn’t he hungry? These are former junior college players who have been given an opportunity to play at the absolute highest level of college basketball. These are guys that have/had(?) the potential to play professional basketball after their collegiate careers. Why aren’t they motivated to win and take advantage of the opportunity that has been given to them? Several of the players on the roster – Pauly Paulicap, Dimon Carrigan, Malik Curry, etc. – are likely nearing the end of their careers as basketball players. Why aren’t they hungry?
Unfortunately, Bob Huggins is out of answers. He’s one of the best, most accomplished coaches in the history of the game, but there doesn’t seem to be any fixes for this team that he has built.