… I was not. WVU and Gonzaga opened the annual ESPN college basketball marathon. It probably only felt like a marathon for the Mountaineers.
They began what was supposed to be, and still might be, a much-improved season. They instead took the worst lost in the five-plus seasons with Bob Huggins — and it was never that close.
“We didn’t compete,” Huggins said. “That’s what bothers me more than anything.”
If you didn’t watch, you win. It wasn’t pleasant, and I know this because I watched. For you. Re-live it after the jump.
Reverse chronological order for your reading, so let me give you advice you’ve heard before: Bottoms up!
And disregard the typos. It was late and the live post is faster in basketball than football … and you can’t go back and edit submissions. I was more accurate than the Mountaineers, though.
Highlight of the game: Gonzaga is dribbling out the clock and two WVU players trap and foul. Camera pans to Huggins, who is finally seated, arms crossed and shaking his head with a smirk that wonders what his players were doing. Two free throws and the final is 84-50.
That was … well, it’s over. See you this morning.
Back-to-back possessions in a 30-plus point game and Murray is running the floor after turnovers to get dunks. That’s encouraging.
Bright spot II: Gonzaga has, it looks like, 10 guys. Nice depth, good skill and they can score.
Bright spot: Aaric Murray. He has 10 points, only person in double figures. I think he has four baskets. His teammates have nine.
Just noticed 30 comments in this post, too. I really thought I’d have an audience of zero, hence me not publicizing it. What’s wrong with you people?
It’s 11:10 PST. WVU will be in the arena until at least midnight. It’s leaving the team hotel at 3:30 for it’s commercial flights home. Fun!
Straight-line drives for layups … and NOTHING drives Huggins crazier.
Adn Kilicli fouls out. His teammates huddle and he just kind of loiters, lie he’s supposed to, but he doesn’t really want to. He literally looked like he knew he was in for a tough nigh.
Aaron Brown would be an interesting speed dater. He’s shot a lot tonight and has not played a lot tonight.
WVU defense fading, which is usually a sign in a 27-point game. Gonzaga has a big who can go outside and isolate Kilicli. There are some in the Big 12 who can do the same.
Gonzaga started 1-for-12 from the floor. Has made 19 of 27 since. WVU is a good bit under 30 percent.
But, man, Gonzaga makes open shots.
Hey, Kilicli back and he fights to get open in the zone. And then he dunks.
Goodness, it’s 1:53 and there’s 10:11 remaining.
Keaton Miles! Staten, Humphrey, Miles, Murray and now Terry Henderson.
Noreen is done. Kilicli has done nothing to inspire. Where does Huggins go?
And Noreen has fouled out. Just a tremendous six seconds for lcj.
Noreen makes a free throw and someone yells “That’s your first point.” Nice work, lcj.
WVU looks really tired, too. Lots of players bent over getting deep breaths.
Early impression of Matt Humphrey is that he does not always know where he is on the floor. He takes some deep 3s. He’s got a slow developing shot, too.
Primo forces another turnover on the inbound.
Worth stating nearly 30 minutes in here … no Nique Rutledge.
Kilicli got pulled after that no-show on the screen in favor or Noreen, who has four fouls. That kind of night for Kilicli.
Browne misses a spinning shot in the lane and Pangos hits a deep 2 in transition and Huggins needs a timeout. He is livid.
Ugh. Kilicli scores inside, Humphrey scores on a steal but then Kilcili sleepwalks through a screen that John Stockton’s son set and Kilicli’s man makes an open 3. WVU turns it over and Hinds goaltends a layup. WVU then turns it over on Murray’s offensive foul.
Noreen might finish with a negative foul-to-minute ratio.
Little more transition from WVU and Humphrey feeds Hings for an and-one that gets the bench up. Hinds missed the free throw and Kilicli loses the ball out of bounds. It’s 49-28.
And now Noreen fouls.
Missed shots and Noreen is fouled again.
Noreen gets fouled. He makes things happen.
Yikes. Kilicli is doubled, drops the ball, gets it back and throws it to a defender a foot away from him. Bad night for him.
Hey, 2-3 zone and WVU slows and rotates and Hinds makes an open 3.
Same starting five for WVU and a stop is followed by another quick-entry score for Murray. I think that’s the second one. I mentioned the first. It was the first score of the game.
Just for fun, ESPN peppers halftime with Michigan highlights.
I guess Seth Greenberg is a new studio guy for ESPN. He seems like a veteran, though. Just labeled Gonzaga a Final Four team.
Then Staten makes a dumb foul chasing a loose ball and that’s three on him. Hard to end a half worse than this … but 4.3 seconds remain.
Hard to describe what just happened, but Kilicli made perhaps the worst cross court pass ever and Gonzaga made a wide open 3.
He has back-to-back buckets for a 42-17 lead. Kilicli somehow draws a foul on the other end and that’s three fouls on Primo.
WVU has no answer for Primo.
And there’s a low-post bounce pass for a dunk. Probably shouldn’t happen.
OK, so the shotclock on the end WVU is defending is out for this game. WVU just took a shot click vioation.
…can’t share his reply.
We’re mercifully at the under-4 timeout and I’m going to text Chuck McGill to let him know much I appreciate him taking this trip.
Terry Henderson with the 3. That seemed to be set up out of the timeout.
WVU 0-for-10 from 3-point range, Gonzaga 5-for-9.
Transition defense is pretty bad. Missed 3 leads top an open 3 and It’s now 34-12 as Huggins calls a timeout. You’re lucky to be in bed.
Kilicli misses two free throws and he’s just not giving you anything right now.
Brown isn’t shy.
Full court pressure causes a turnover and Brown misses a layup, but gets a foul.
I will say this: When WVU isn’t retreating on defense, it’s guarded pretty well.
Wait! That’s 11 points, 11 turnovers and 10 fouls. Triple double!
Gonzaga goes to a 2-3 zone and WVU struggled mightily with that last season. Gary Brown then simply picks up his dribble and then his pivot foot. That’s 11 points and 11 turnovers.
WVU puts Gonzaga in the double bonus with 8:39 to go before halftime.
He’s a transfer and can’t play. If I’m a Gonzaga fan, I hope he never plays.
Oh my. Gonzaga has a Canadian wearing a purple dress shirt and bowtie and headband.
Gonzaga’s 1-for-12 start washed away by a 6-for-7 surge. Humphrey with a needless reaching foul on the perimeter leads to two free throws and its 25-9.
Brown has been in about 12 seconds and has a missed 3 and two free throws.
Getting bad fast now. Murray collects a turnover, then throws it deep off Jabarie’s head. WVU just kind of mosies back and Pangos assists Sam Dower for a dunk over Keaton Miles. It’s 21-6 … and Brown, a 50-percent free throw shooter last year, goes 1-for-2.
Aaron Brown enters the season with an air ball 3.
Gonzaga, it must be said, is a sharp team. Good guards, athletic frontcourt, rugged bigs. They’re good.
Browne ends the rut with two free throws, gets a steal and assists Hinds on a layup. It’s 17-6.
Seems right now WVU just doesn’t get to the ball like it should. And Kilicli has a hard time maintaining possession.
Gonzaga plus-10 with Noreen on the bench.
… 15-2. WVU six-plus minutes without a basket.
Pangos makes his third 3 and it’s 12-2.
Primo gets it low and draws a double team, but bounces the ball to no one making a back cut. He was too deep to pass, but he did. Lucky for him it went off a defender.
Gonzaga’s 7 foot, 300 pound center is Przemyslaw Karnowski. Let’s call him Primo, OK?
Kilicli travels and he’s struggling and that’s an issue. Huggins wants Noreen or Kilicli on the floor at all times because they know what to do, or at least they know what Huggins means when he’s yelling instructions.
Can’t bring Noreen in with two fouls. Can you keep Kilicli on the floor?
Staten alone on a 1-on-2 fast break and pulls back. How long has it been since we saw that?
The 7 foot, 300 pound center forces a five-second turnover on a WVU inbound.
Student section has seen 10 fouls, eight points and chants “Let them play!”
Gonzaga uses its 7 foot, 300 pound center to defend inbounds!
Zaga, 1-11; WVU 1-7.
First television timeout. Zags lead 5-2 at the 15:50 mark and WVU has six fouls. Murray just got one attempting to block a shot his entire team thought he blocked.
Lord, this Curtis Shaw edict will not happen this season. Staten drives and gets bumped a little and kicks it outside to Gary Browne and the officials call a foul. The contact did not interrupt the play.
Four seconds later, Noreen gets his second on a rebound and goes to the bench. It’s 5-2 Gonzaga.
Three officials blow the whistle and neither makes a call before deciding Noreen was guilty of a block for simply standing under a jump stop.
Staten hasn’t played a real game in a while and he got flattened on a screen on an inbound and let Kevin Pangos make the open 3.
Kevin Noreen, sixth man.
Early offense works better. Murray hurried to the block and sealed his defender for a basket. Hinds worked inside for a flip shot on the baseline, but missed. Good look though, and that’s WVU’s goal, at least early this season.
Nice start for the Mountaineers — two offensive rebounds. No points. That means three missed shots — Kilicli inside and Hinds and Humphrey outside.
Well, it’s 12:01 a.m. and I’ve found enough fuel to keep going for another two hours here.
Interesting pregame decision is WVU starting three guards. I suspected Matt Humphrey would get the start. He’d not going to get pushed around in the backcourt and might make a shot here or there.
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