The West Virginia Mountaineers have gone from one of the best teams in the nation to a team that can’t beat average teams at home. Although Bob Huggins thinks it has everything to do with players not getting into the gym, not making shots, throwing the ball to the other team, not getting rebounds, etc., this is entirely Bob Huggins’ fault.
A team that has regressed in the way that the Mountaineers have this season has everything to do with coaching. Huggins recently asked that fans and media members leave his players alone and instead put the losses on him, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Offensively, there have been no changes, no adjustments, and the stagnant West Virginia offense continues to be one of the easiest in the Big 12 (and possibly the nation) to defend. Huggins wants his players to “run offense”, but running offense is literally the worst option that the Mountaineers have. None of it makes any sense. Throwing the ball around the perimeter for 10-15 seconds, then throwing into the post for a quick, bad shot or a turnover is not productive.
The offense is slow, stagnant, ineffective, and the players know it. Gabe Osabuohien continually getting the ball at the top of the key doesn’t make sense, posting up 2-3 players at one time doesn’t make sense, not putting the ball in the hands of scorers like Sean McNeil, Taz Sherman or Miles McBride just doesn’t make any sense, and although the Mountaineers to continue to struggle offensively, there have been no adjustments made. This is literally the exact same offensive sets that the Mountaineers have run all season and opponents know how to stop it. Making changes is the obvious choice, but Huggins appears to be too stubborn to do so, instead choosing to blame the poor performances on his players.
West Virginia has two of the best scorers from the JUCO ranks, fabulous freshmen, dynamic interior players, yet suddenly no one is playing with confidence. Not one player on the Mountaineers is playing like they’re capable of and again, this is entirely the fault of coaching. Putting players in position to be successful and productive is the role of the coach and for every single player on the team to regress in a major way since the start of the season is on the coach. Players having no confidence in what they’re doing on the floor falls on the coach.
It would be so refreshing for Bob Huggins to take the blame for this disastrous loss at home against an average Oklahoma team, but unfortunately we will hear about the team not being the same, about them not getting in the gym, about them not listening to his instructions, but the reality is that these players no longer trust that what he says will work and he has lost this team.