So, that happened. Heading out of town, taking and making phone calls to confirm the Joe DeForest/Keith Patterson swap and — POW — there goes the front passenger tire. Note the gash at the top of the tire.
We’re now live from the Consol Energy Center, where I was standing in a hallway making another phone call, when WVU assistant coach and former Duquesne coach Ron Everhart walked silently down the hall, a few paces behind Bob Huggins, a few paces in front of assistants Larry Harrison and Erik Martin.
Everhart said not a word and went straight to work. He’ll say no words, either. Fired last spring, Everhart has has politely declined invitations to talk about his reunion tonight.
Step into my office …
Final is Duquesne 60, WVU 56. Nice 20-point second half for WVU. And, man, the Dukes tried to guard that last 3 by Staten a little too close for the purpose of necessity.
Brooklyn ought to be fun …
Huggins is incredulous. Can’t believe the ball isn’t WVU’s.
… first one isn’t easy, either.
Putting in the jumpers here. Browne has to make one and miss one … the miss is always the hardest here.
Browne and Staten had 10 a piece in the first half. Staten has three in the second half.
He has six points. Browne hasn’t scored or done anything in the second half.
Kilicli then misses the front end of the one-and-one for a second straight time.
Kilicli shot that put-back with his back to the basket. That was uncanny.
We have 1:08 to go and the Dukes lead 57-53.
You could see this coming. Even up 11, WVU had no urgency and was falling into bad offensive habits, which really might just be bad ways of life with this team right now. Duquesne us getting and taking what it wants on offense.
Offense devolving to the point Kilicli takes and badly misses an 18 footer.
Noreen not happy with the way Abele has gone down the past two possessions. Abele is a Radford transfer, where Noreen’s brother plays.
This is trouble.There is nothing working on offense. No pump fakes or ball fakes to move the defense and open a lane for a cutter. No reversals. Lots of passes to the off hand. Very stagnant. Fortunately for WVU, a quirky tip in credited to Noreen, but possibly by a Duquesne player, puts WVU back ahead 51-10. We’re at the under 4 timeout.
I’m under the Duquesne basket staring across the floor at WVU’s offensive end. The Dukes are not moving on defense. They don’t have to, either.
Henderson and Hinds in and that might be OK because you need points here. Duquesne is up 50-49 after a three-point play.
Eyeball this: Dukes sagging off Noreen. WVU leaning on Kilicli, but using Noreen up high to take a defender away. Noreen is going to have to shoot, or do something offensive, right?
Same five out of the timeout. Humphrey is in because he’ll pass more and better than Henderson.
It’s 47-45 and led 45-24 not five (game) minutes ago. Feels strange. Stranger than Hertz having no idea what Gangnam style is.
Kilicli uses his arms and gets a foul called FOR him late in the shot clock.
Staten for Harris. The others are the same.
Humphrey takes a big back dribble to hoist a 3 and he’s two feet inside the line. Harris drives and turns it over. Duquesne scores. Browne misses, Duquesne scores. That five is done. Timeout WVU up just 47-45.
How about this five: Noreen, Kilicli, Humphrey, Browne and Harris.
Kilicli shows, widens his arms and gets a good look that includes pinning his defender outside the basket. Humphrey gets into the open area for a rebound and a basket. It’s all tied together.
Awful offense for WVU. Kilicli won’t go inside and when he does he doesn’t show. Just doesn’t use his arms to get open, which would make entry passes easier. But this Martins Abele is giving him trouble and the Mountaineers, who can’t shoot, are hunting for jumpers.
Dukes are making the seemingly inevitable run and it’s 45-42.
Henderson is not a very good passer. He’s not even interested in it most of the time, which gets him a lecture and a seat from Huggins. But he plays help defense and makes weakside defensive plays and rebounds a bunch.
Hinds comes out. Not a surprise. He’s really struggling, mostly with decisions.
Huggins looked like he wanted to take everyone but Noreen out, by the way. Can’t see who the five in the game are in this huddle, but I’m excited. It could be, like, three guys.
SWEAT! Draws Jeremiah Jones’ fourth foul at the 14:52 mark. He has seven points, which is a lot tonight.
Hinds makes some weird decisions … on a break and passes ahead to Kilicli, who can’t make the play Hinds asked him to make. Shot is swatted, which leads to a transition 3 that misses. Hinds then squeezes off an early jumper on the other end.
Really glad I pocketed the “BIG GUYS SHOOTIN’ 3s” story …
Murray not happy with the call against WVU on the defensive end. He thought Duquesne turned it over when the official thought it went off Humphrey. The official stared at Murray and then swallowed his whistle on the other end. Murray would not be so quiet and gets a T, which is his third foul at the 18:04 mark.
There it is!
Eagerly awaiting Duquesne’s first jumper of the game. Eighteen points in the paint and five free throws in the first half for 23 points.
Shame on me! Hinds makes two free throws and a jumper and Humphrey hits a 3 and WVU manages a 36-23 lead at the half.
In need of a spark, Huggins taps Hinds and Humphrey.
It’s an 11-2 run now. Duquesne has scored on six straight possessions. Had scored on five the entire first half before that.
And a 7-0 Duquesne run has it at 25-17.
This is hard to watch. Neither team can shoot or score.
WVU gets lucky there. Henderson misses inside and Kilicli must have thought Henderson was on fire because he laied on him under the hoop. Dukes run and Murray fouls, but WVU gets a charge call instead of a block. Henderson makes an and-one and it’s 25-10.
WVU had no idea the stoppage was for a Duquesne technical. Browne makes both and has 10 points … as many as the Dukes. It’s 22-10.
Hinds goes out and WVU puts some good possessions together. Huggins seems more bothered that Hinds gave up the middle on a layup that preceded his exit.
Gary Brown – 3-for-4 for eight points. Teammates 5-for-18 for 10 points.
Man, things went south when Hinds came back in. Noreen hesitated on a jumper and the 7-footer guarding him jumped out. Hinds missed a jumper off the front of the rim that led to a layup.
Next possession, Hinds missed a corner 3 that went long on the rebound and put the Dukes in transition.
Brownetown! Makes his second 3. Humphrey gets a steal a possession after a a deflection and then dunks with the right … he’s a lefty. It’s 16-6.
Browne was pretty bad last game. Makes a 3 on his first touch tonight.
Noreen is in. That’ll do.
Dukes shooting 1-for-8, Mountaineers shooting 3-for-9.
Thirty-two seconds: bad jump, clock malfunction, turnover, kick ball and foul.
@bhertzel decided not to tweet tonight’s game. In case you were wondering.
Good start. Bad jump and then no clock.
Check that, that’s not ZS.
Can’t say for sure who the officials are. I’ll get it later. I think one is ZOLTON STEED.
Staten, Hinds, Henderson, Kilicli and Murray will start.
Betty White giant head in the crowd.
There aren’t many people here tonight.
WVu’s pressure is worth watching. The Dukes play 10 players, so fatigue isn’t necessarily a concern, but their assist:turnover ratio is terrible — 124:141.
The Dukes shoot a bunch of 3s. Seriously, 318 2-point attempts, 218 2-point attempts, 150 2-point baskets, 71 3-point makes. They’ve made 51 3s in their five wins. They have 20 in their four losses. Basically, five makes separates a win from a loss.
As for this game, Duquesne has scored 631 points in nine games (70.1 per game) and allowed 630 (70). WVU’s magic number, of you will, is 70 points. The Mountaineers are 91-14 when they get 70 for Huggins. When the other teams scores fewer than 70 points, WVU has won 60 of the past 70.
Despute the change of duties, I’m told the salaries and contracts will not change. DeForest makes $500,000 annually. Patterson makes $350,000.
I’m also hearing DeForest’s duties might not be completely resolved.
The reason you haven’t seen word from the university is … well, I honestly don’t know. Dana moves at his own speed and doesn’t concern himself with outside perceptions. It’s possible he saves all of this until Monday, when the word is he’ll conduct a pre-bowl press conference.
Remember, he saved all the offseason coaching hirings and assignments for the pre-spring practice presser. Trouble is that press conference is not yet confirmed. One wonders if a cornerbacks coach will be hired by then.
One more thing about the coaching swap: I’m hearing that this more or less took place during the season when DeForest went from the field to the coaching box and Patterson went from the box to the field.
That shouldn’t be a surprise, really. It’s awfully hard to process what you see above the field, make the call and relay it to the field, where it has to be relayed to the players. That’s a lot of work in a little time. Seems fair to assume Patterson took a larger share, if not the full share, of the play calling previously.
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