|Field Goal %||40.0||50.0|
|Three Point %||25.0||37.5|
|Free Throw %||64.3||68.4|
The West Virginia Mountaineers (8-5, 0-2) fell to the Texas Longhorns 10-4, 2-0) 61-54 in Austin Saturday night. The Mountaineers made the trip without redshirt freshman Brandon Knapper due to a suspension.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins didn’t have much to say on the matter stating, “Conduct unbecoming of a West Virginia basketball player” as the reason for not traveling with the team.
It’s been a different look this year for the West Virginia Basketball Program. Mountaineer fans have come accustomed to seeing a full court press over the past few years. They’ve adapted what looks like the style of play we were used to seeing in the Big East days. That tough grind it out style of play.
“I just know that It’s probably going to be the way we have to play.” Said Huggs. “We can’t play the way we played before. I’m looking down there and we’re pretty thin and quite frankly we got guys that are struggling. I mean they are struggling. They can’t make a shot. We don’t go 18 for 32 the last game than that’s a different outcome. If we get a couple rebounds that we needed to get than conceivably this could be another outcome. We’re close but close don’t do you any good.”
Huggins announced Friday that he was starting freshman walk-on Taevon Horton in Austin. Horton didn’t play much but he was sending a message to the team he is going to play guys that are putting the work in.
“I wanted to reward him for being in the gym.” Stated Huggins. “But he doesn’t know what he’s doing so it’s hard. Beetle got two fouls real-quick. I know we were going to need him the second half, so I sat him pretty much the whole first half. We got in foul trouble. We weren’t as smart as we needed to be. We went for pump fakes that got in foul trouble we didn’t; stay down the way we need to say down. We were probably in more foul trouble than we normally are.”
Derek Culver has come along strong since returning from his suspension. In the last three games he has averaged 13.3 points per game and 9.3 rebounds. There’s no replacing Sagaba Konate on the defensive end but offensively he’s been effective.
“Well I think with each passing game Derek replaces his (Sagaba Konate) offense. We obviously can’t replace his shot blocking. But I think, very soon Derek will be as good offensively for us.” Said Huggins.
The Mountaineers struggled to contain the Texas guards from driving into the paint and as a result, that’s where they got majority of their points.
“They do a good job of spreading you out” Explained Huggins. “That’s what their trying to do is get a straight line. They got too many on us. It’s kind of like what, I think, what other people were eluding to if Sags is back there then it doesn’t matter. But he’s not back there and he’s not going to be back there, so we got to figure something else out.”
After the Jacksonville State (Dec. 22nd) game and the second consecutive game Konate had sat out, Huggins said that it would be 2-4 weeks before Sags would return. It’s become evident now, that there is no timeline.
“It ends up being a family situation. It’s not my decision.” Stated Huggins. “It’s he and his family. And he’s 21 years old so he should be capable of making those kinds of decisions for himself. But it’s a family situation and they got to do what they think is right. But at the same time, we can’t sit here wish him back we can’t sit here cry that oh woe is me because he isn’t here. We got to figure out a way to win.”