Welcome to Tier 4! You are looking live at Iba-Gallagher Arena, another one of the unique and enjoyable Big 12 Conference atmospheres and site of today’s game. WVU will do it today without Matt Humphrey, who has come along as of late. He will sit today after aggravating his left shoulder, the same one he had operated on in August to fix a torn labrum.
More on that later. I really do like these Big 12 gyms and how one is not like the other. The big difference between the Big East and the Big 12, I think, is that the schools own and operate their buildings whereas in the Big East many teams share their space with pro basketball or hockey teams or other diversion. They’re larger and built for bigger crowds and to accommodate multiple teams and events.
These schools build and tailor their buildings to their own preferences. They’re smaller spaces, sometimes suited for smaller crowds, and they can put people where they want. Students are in optimal spots and pep bands are in the proper places. Today, seats reserved by WVU are right behind the bench.
I think I like this better. And I know I like this: white sneaker day. Technically, it’s Suits and Sneakers weekend. Tenth annual, too, and it’s doubly cool because Bob Valvano is the commentator on ESPNU today.
I did not get the memo. One day, I’m playing along. Need to do something with those Starburys.
On to the next one …
Final from Stillwater: 80-66 and a 27-point swing the wrong way for WVU.
These guys … It’s 70-59 now. Unreal.
Brown’s a pretty great player who is a lot better this year than he was last year — when he was still very good.
…. head down, writing, but OSU is having its way on both ends the past five or six minutes. And, really, the past 15.
And you can add to that. This is getting away in a hurry.
Big, big difference this half is OSU on the offensive glass. Five offensive rebounds and seven second-chance points already.
Smart is a point guard, by the way. He’s stout and I shudder to think what happens when he falls in love with drives and free throws.
Oh, man. With 15 and 13 on the floor, WVU might not guard anybody. OR triple team 15 and leave 13 open.
Just a 35-12 run at G-IA.
That blowout comment came before Kilicli lost his mind. WVU isn’t equipped to play this kind of game with this kind of lineup.
That’s a liability play there. Really hurts the team now.
And there’s the dumb foul by Kilicli.
Hey, they guarded Forte and it still went in.
And now Kilicli draws his third. Huggins keeps him in, and I’d guess whistles will either fire up or settle down now. No in between.
Solid possession for WVU. Four points and two fouls and it’s 40-36. I don’t think they’re getting blown out today. Playing too hard.
And that looked to me like an offensive foul on Kilicli. Instead of his third, it’s Nash’s and Kilicli goes 0-for-2 at the line.
Cobbins respects Murray a little bit more and just enough for a pass to find Kilicli before Cobbins arrives.
Huggins address that by swapping Murray for Noreen. That had to happen.
Bad sign for WVU: Noreen flashes high to get a pass and pass to Kilicli but Cobbins will not cover Noreen and instead doubles down on Kilicli. Kind of derails that tactic.
No offense to Forte, but he’s not *getting* open. He’s being left open. Huggins calls a timeout to cure this, he hopes.
Eh, and now Harris has three. He’ll sit for Henderson.
Big development here: Three on Jurick and two already this half. He’ll sit for, get ready, Phil Forte.
… And Harris goes left and hits a 3 in rhythm. Touche.
We’ve seen this one before, yes? For the record, WVU allowed 11 points in 14:29 and was 10-for-19 with four turnovers. WVU then allowed 19 points in 5:32 and was 1-for-6 with five turnovers.
I can’t understand why Forte is always open, but he’s a knock-down shooter and made two biggies at the end of the half. OSU improbably leads 30-27 after trailing 24-11 with 5:32 to go.
And there’s OSU’s first live ball offensive rebound and Jurick kicks it to Forte for a 3 and we’re tied 27-27.
Almost got his third there.
Aaron Brown and Hinds are in and Harris is out there with two fouls. I thought he’d come out.
Biiig swing there. Kilicli blocks a layup, WVU runs, Staten runs over Forte, Harris sinks a 3 to end a 9-0 run and put WVU ahead 27-20.
Zone baffles WVU, Kilicli forced a jumper at the end of the shot clock and it misses everything and goes out off OSU. Huggins calls his first-half timeout with one tick left on the shot clock.
Here comes OSU. WVU has a turnover, a missed jumper by Murray and then one by Staten against the shot clock and OSU has two free throws, a layup and two more free-throw attempts after this timeout. It’s already a 7-0 run to make it 24-18 with 3:40 to go.
Unlucky foul on Henderson. That was passed right to him.
Harris has left Forte open on back-to-back possessions and Forte won’t miss two in a row. He missed the first one and made the second.
Triple threat from Kilicli and a layup.
And the crowd does not like Miles. This is fascinating. I always thought he was one of those “nice guys” Huggins called out from time to time.
Not sure how that’s a foul against Miles, who simply guarded his ground, but I think he’s done so many things in a certain style that there was an urge to call something.
And this is an 18-4 run … prolonged and at WVU’s pace.
OK, this is weird now. WVU executes on an inbound and get a quick layup for a 22-11 lead and another OSU timeout.
Miles cuts and draws a foul. He’s been magical and seems to absolutely love this role.
I can’t believe they called that, but he forced a double dribble after Staten turned it over and Henderson makes it worth three points. It’s 20-11…
OSU has one offensive rebound and it’s a dead ball rebound on a missed free throw
More Miles, who’s been a little better than solid. Hedges real hard on a screen and forces the ball into the backcourt and then ties it up for a turnover and possession.
Staten to the scorer’s table and Browne slides inside for a layup. Miles rejects Gardner at the rim on the other end — and he’s been solid so far.
More of Hinds O.C. and that leads to a dunk and some buzz here.
OSU has more talent, collectively and individually, but can’t do anything with it. WVU is forcing everything to one half of the floor on defense and stopping sets and doing a pretty good job guarding ball screens and then rebounding. It’s 15-9 and the Cowboys need a timeout.
Curious how much longer Harris sits here. Been a while…
And WVU subs Murray for Miles and goes small up 13-9.
Oklahoma getting outrebounded 7-4 and doesn’t have an offensive rebound 8:15 into this thing.
Gary Brown posts up … and it does not end well.
Or dunks. Dunks work, too. I’t 11-7 and WVU has seven unanswered.
Browne, State, Kilicli and Murray with Henderson…this is spot for Henderson to get shots.
Hinds going about 90 mph in a 55 right now. Too out of control on some inside shots and drives and a sloppy travel there.
Early glance from a useful angle of the OSU defense is that once a WVU guard passes the ball, that defender turns to the ball and loses sight of his man.
Deniz is back in. He needs to stick with Jurick, who looks like he rolls really well after screens.
Oh Lord … CEJ.
Can’t help but think Huggins is coaching an AAU team with his get-up. And I wonder if he feels the same with his squad that he sarcastically applauds after Hinds misses an impossible shot under his basket and Browne fouls in transition.
OSU is forcing Harris left, which is what Purdue did with pretty good success last Saturday. Scouting reports grow.
That’ll be it for Deniz early.
WVU loses the tip…but is 7-4 when it wins it.
OSU coaches and staffers getting it done with orange sneakers. Very sharp look.
Marcus Smart is from Flower Mound and knows of Paul Millard, but they went to different high schools. Millard went to FMHS, Smart to — and I’m serious — Marcus High.
Oh, hey, Cobbins starts for OSU. Browne, Harris, Hinds, Noreen and Kilicli for WVU.
All that stuff I said about the environment, etc? Disragard. It’s empty here.
And these two teams have played just once before:
That was a pretty good season for the Mountaineers, yes?
WVU’s Keaton Miles and Le’Bryan Nash were high school teammates at Dallas Lincoln. Soucek and WVU’s Volodymry Gerun both attended the Canarias Basketball Academy, though they didn’t play together.
There’s familiarity between these two teams. If WVU starts with a big lineup, that might be good for Aaric Murray. In two career games against OSU, he’s averaged 16.5 points and 12 rebounds. Both were in losing efforts for La Salle.
OSU won 43-45 at home against TCU and 79-45 at home against Texas Tech. Sensing the trend here? OSU is 9-1 at home.
In conference play, both teams are 2-3. OSU has a six-point loss at Kansas State, a nine-point loss at Oklahoma and a 10-point loss at Baylor. WVU lost to KSU by one at home and has two losses to Oklahoma.
Some scheduling quirks: OSU lost by 10 at Virginia Tech, which lost by one at WVU. The Mountaineers lost by 34 at Gonzaga, which beat OSU 69-68 here.
OSU also rocked N.C. State by 20 points to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
And neither team has back-to-back wins this month.
OSU has a pair of five-game winning streaks this season — one to start the schedule and then one to bookend the first loss of the season.
That means 10-1.
The Cowboys come into today’s game as 12-5, which means four losses in six games … same as WVU.
By the way, Murphy is typically the OSU starter, but Cobbins is a load off the bench.
As for Humphrey, I don’t think he would have started today and I’m not sure he would have played much.
First, he’s been OK, but not great and he blew up a couple defensive spots, and in particular one in transition to set Huggins off, against TCU. And he’s shot it better, but has averaged just five points the past three games — and that counts the nine-point outburst at Iowa State.
Second, and more importantly, is that Oklahoma State is huge. Bigger than Texas, a few of us concur. WVU wouldn’t start the four guards and probably wouldn’t use them much, unless there was a spot to matchup similarly against the Cowboys.
They start 6-11 Phil Jurick, who was once pursued by WVU, and either 6-8 Mike Cobbins or 6-8 Kamari Murphy — and one subs for the other.
If things get dicey, 7-footer Marek Soucek is on the bench, though he’s played only three minutes in one of five Big 12 games. Mason Cox is 6-10, but has played just six games and non in conference play.
Beyond that, the point guard is 6-4 and a second guard is 6-7.
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