What strikes me about Bob Huggins and his management of postgame assessments is how often, and effectively, he evokes a basic premise: His team did/didn’t make shots. I guess it’s a little perplexing for me, relative to what I do, because it makes for similar stories.
But darn if it isn’t legit, right?
It’s fundamental to a point, particularly in the Big East. A game is a game. It’s not a season, no matter how good or how bad.
Certain performances may be applied to trends, but too often a season is said to be made or broken by one result. The loss to Syracuse didn’t end the season because the Mountaineers haven’t shot well since the Purdue game. Saturday WVU snapped a four-game losing streak against ranked teams by beating No. 8 Notre Dame. How it happened seemed a bigger deal than that it happened.
What does any of it change, though? Very little. And it’s worth noting today.
The Mountaineers have nine losses and, hmm, the one at Miami remains regrettable. WVU had that game and the Hurricanes are having an iffy season.
You can reason away a preseason tournament loss to Minnesota. That Marshall game is always tricky, and WVU did itself no favors in that one. In this conference, a home loss to Pitt happens. The loss at Louisville required missed free throws and an acrobatic shot by an acrobatic player. The loss at Villanova was just bad offense. The loss at Syracuse was more of the same at a place WVU never plays well. The loss at Marquette was a good game in a tough spot. The loss to St. John’s was a stunner then, but isn’t now … and the Mountaineers weren’t good at home that night, either.
I’ve said it before, but college basketball is better viewed and understood in windows. It’s more in-the-moment stuff — think improvements and struggles and surges — and, again, relative to my job, that matters. But lean in when you look in or look out of that window and there’s a whole lot more to see.
Believe it or not, Jim Boeheim, in the latest of his zany press conferences, tried to make that point. It what started like a cranky reset of some past episodes, Boeheim sorted through some personal attacks and some pointed analysis of his team to deliver a sermon, of sorts, that can and probably should be applied to a lot of teams.
I’m not a fan such grandstanding, but the guy has some credibility, to be sure, and he makes a lot of sense if you picture your Mountaineers as he speaks.