Huggins Still Searching for Answers After WVU’s Loss To Texas Tech
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–A despondent Bob Huggins sat in the postgame press conference just shaking his head.
“We turned it over 22 to their 13,” he said when asked the difference in West Virginia’s 62-59 loss to Texas Tech Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum. “We had guys open but couldn’t get it to them. They had a hard time guarding our curls and flex action. But you have to have someone with enough courage to catch it up there and break the defense down and make a pass.”
Passing has been a big problem for the Mountaineers all season. It averages 16.5 turnovers per game, and against the Red Raiders, WVU had just six assists on 18 made baskets.
“We’re very charitable,” continued West Virginia’s head coach, whose club fell in its first Big 12 game of the season. “The other team may be struggling, but we throw them the ball. That’s how the whole thing starts.”
Maybe it all goes hand-in-hand, but West Virginia isn’t just poor passing the basketball. It also isn’t shooting it very well. It made just 18-of-43 field goal attempts against TTU (41.9 percent), and really struggled from the foul line.
“The reality is we were 18-of-32 from the free throw line; we missed 14,” stated Huggins. “We had our best shooter (Lamont West) at the line, and he missed two-of-three. We’re not making any shots. I thought that’s the one thing we would be able to do, but we’re not.
“Basketball is kind of like a girlfriend,” he added. “If you don’t pay attention to her, she’s going to drift off on you.
“I have great assistants; I really do,” Huggins continued. “Sometimes during timeouts I get too much information. Ronnie (Everhart) says, ‘Run this and you can score.’ Larry (Harrison) says, ‘Run this and you can score.’ Erik (Martin) says, ‘I watched the film. We can do this.’ And I say, ‘OK, which one of you three geniuses is going to tell me who is going to make the gosh-dang pass? Who is going to pass it? I know who can score it. Who is going to pass it to them?’ You know what, it gets awfully quiet then.”
West Virginia is now 8-5 overall on the season, and staring at a gauntlet of tough games, which features 17 more Big 12 contests and plus a non-conference clash with No. 3 Tennessee.
“We’ve put ourselves in a situation where our backs are against the wall,” noted Huggins, who is 848-324 in his coaching career, including a 263-135 mark in his 12 seasons at WVU. “Other than the one year, when our back was against the wall, we came out fighting, competitive. I’m sitting in the locker room against Missouri in Orlando, and we were dead in the water. We came into the huddle and Dax (Miles) and J.C. (Jevon Carter) are screaming at those guys. ‘We ain’t dead yet. We ain’t dead yet.’ That was one of the greatest comebacks I’ve ever seen.
“People say, ‘Do they want to win?’ Everyone wants to win. But do they really hate to lose, despise losing? It doesn’t look like it.”
And how can he improve the situations this year?
Huggins deadpanned – maybe – “Retire.”