WVU v. Gonzaga: Musing for the dogs



“Let’s show Gonzaga that their ‘Kennel Club’ has nothing on the Mountaineer Maniacs and lets (sic) send them home with a loss in front of a national audience !”

So there are about 3,500 student tickets accounted for this evening and a WVU spokesperson told me before the game the Mountaineers were hoping to draw around 9,000 for tonight’s game at the Coliseum, where the home team is either a 21/2- or a 3-point underdog against No. 20 Gonzaga, depending on where you get your intel.

Home court variable? If nothing else, the dead week dreary students are properly armed with some decent jabs they can throw at the Bulldogs. My favorite, I think, is from the Kyle Dranginis bio: “From the great basketball state of Idaho, has scored 30 in a game but can’t start.” Special honorable mention for the tip that Sam Dower, Jr., still has a MySpace page.

Well played. But is it well blogged?

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:38 pm

I’m short on time, so forgive my tactlessness, but this is essentially put up or shut up time for this team. Stop whining about officiating and trying to get calls and win a game you were good enough to lead by 10 points.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:35 pm

What Henderson did is a foul, but it’s virtually the same as happened to Harris a few trips earlier to get a jump ball.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:33 pm

Stunning performance by Karnowski. He’s in a zone.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:28 pm

Sooner or later, Karnowski’s Super Mario Bros. invincibility star runs out, right?

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:25 pm

Virtually impossible with the rules for Harris to have what just happened to him happen without a foul being called.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:24 pm

I’m at a loss for how Karnowski has done the same thing all game that Williams just did to get a foul.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:23 pm

Adrian loses his man, Williams smartly steps pout to contest Dranginis, but Williams leaves Dower alone under thehoop and Adrian can’t contend.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:21 pm

Yikes, just looked at my sheet. Karnowski has zero fouls.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:20 pm

These teams are an awful lot alike, aren’t they. WVU doesn’t have the anchor in the middle, but they play similar on offense and defense and right now you’re seeing Gonzaga attack WVU’s guards.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:16 pm

Gonzaga loitering, but I have to think if Dibo makes that 3, my head is down and I’m writing. It’s now 53-49 instead.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:05 pm

Fouls are starting to add up here. Stockton has three now and he takes a lot of pressure of Pangos when he’s playing point, especially against a players like Staten.

Mike Casazza December 10, 201310:03 pm

And we’re back as a pair of Henderson baskets and a Harris hoop have WVU up 45-37, but Noreen just sat with his fourth foul at 17:23. Dower make two free throws and the Zags are within six.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:43 pm

So Harris was nothing to worry about: 6-10/4-6/2-2 for 18 points. His teammates are 6-22/2-11/7-10 for 21 points. Add it up and it’s a 39-35 half. WVU scrapped some things together, meaning it didn’t play quite well, but is still up 39-35 at the half.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:39 pm

Hey, this is fun. Good game, good crowd, good use of Jump Around.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:37 pm

Peculiar jump ball there…

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:36 pm

And WVU is in peril is Karnowski continues to be unsolvable. Inside-outside is poisonous.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:35 pm

Gonzaga is not a great defensive team, but they have players who go after the ball wherever it goes. Passes, dribbles, shots, whatever.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:30 pm

That Karnowski moving screen call is going to get a standing ovation.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:28 pm

Either Gonzaga is super clever with its sets and thus gets Pangos against 6-9 guys at will or WVU is getting lost in transition.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:24 pm

Zone and Adrian hits a 3. He worked from one sideline to the other to get open there. Nice effort and a good contribution after a blocked shot.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:21 pm

I said Karnowski doesn’t move. I lied. He moves whilst screening. Huggins will get that call soon.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:20 pm

Lots of shooters in this game, but you get the feeling the winner will make the move at the foul line.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:19 pm

A clever inverted set from WVU and a low-post spot for Browne, who draws two free throws and makes both. We’re tied 22-22.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:18 pm

Odd lineup for WVU: Staten, Browne, Harris, Henderson and Noreen.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:15 pm

No turnovers for WVU at the 9:03 mark, just two for the Zags and one was on the opening possession.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:14 pm

Karnowski is a lefty, by the way…and he just missed a lefty hook in the post.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:13 pm

And a rebuttal from Harris. Few takes a timeout as Harris has 12 of WVU’s 18. Bulldogs lead 19-18 having weathered a 1-for-7 stretch that ended with the Pangos 3.

This might go on and on here tonight.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:12 pm

Spin me, Karnowski!

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:10 pm

If Adrian’s going to play, he has to make these shots he’s taking and missing. Not very complex, but we can’t deny the obvious because he isn’t bringing much else.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:08 pm

Want Dibo to rebound? He’s not swift enough to do it cleanly all the time. His second foul sits him down with 13:25 left in the half. Meanwhile, Gonzaga is cold and Devin Williams is having success with Dower. Dower has two fouls now and, honestly, should have three. He sits with 13:03 to go.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:06 pm

Staten already with two drives to the rim. He needed to play about 30 minutes of the last game before he did that.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:06 pm

And color me alarmed at the number of times Dibo has ended up on Pangos.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:04 pm

And we can dismiss worries about Harris. He looks fine on both ends.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:04 pm

(Caught up in an earlier edit, the info we were given was wrong, but WVU did get Henderson and Dibo in early here. This might not be Adrian’s kind of game.)

Mike Casazza December 10, 20139:01 pm

Out of a timeout, Dibo gets the ball up high, the defense obviously reacts because Dibo just scored there, and Harris wheels around and takes a bounce pass for a layup. Useful.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:59 pm

Defensive rotations are lacking as most of Gonzaga’s baskets are open and on asssist (5 FG, 3 A).

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:58 pm

Interesting subs so far for WVU as Henderson and Dibo get in early and both miss really good looks at 3s. It’s 9-5 Gonzaga and I have to think WVU is OK with the way things are going. Dower is on the bench and Karnowski is still on Noreen.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:55 pm

Zaga playing man early. They usually play zone and you can see Karnowski forgetting from time to time and standing in the middle.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:53 pm

And Karnowski is going to take Noreen. WVU has to like that. He’s at least a threat to shoot and Williams can stay near the rim on offense.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:52 pm

Among the giant heads in the crowd: Huggins, Kilicli, Logo, tongue-out Gary Browne, Holgorsen and Oprah.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:51 pm

On the WVU side, I’m especially curious to watch Harris in the opening eight or so minutes. A lot is to be written there.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:46 pm

And I’d keep an eye on Coleman coming off the bench. WVU is usually the one with the better bench scoring this season. Gonzaga has three scorers, but Coleman does not shoot. He goes to the hoop and he’s crafty to get his 11 a game. Sort of a Syracuse Josh Pace, for the older crowd.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:45 pm

Both teams rolling with their typical starting five. I’m curious to see what happens with Karnowski. Gonzaga would love to have him matter because he can rebound and he can score inside and WVU does not have an answer. WVU would love to give him a seat on the bench if it can pull him away from the basket.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:43 pm

… totally meant to double-caps DO on that last entry, by the way.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:43 pm

Palpable buzz about ugly sweater press row Saturday night, though. DO pester @GFCoyle, @DOBIEST, @bhertzel, @dphickman1, @chuckmcgill, @inspectahjackbo, etc.

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:40 pm

Mike Casazza December 10, 20138:34 pm

Gale Catlett is among the attendees tonight. To my knowledge — and remember, that’s very vast — his is the first game he’s been to and just the second event he’s attended in this building sine he retired. The only other appearance I can remember is when the road outside the building was dedicated to him.

67 Responses to “WVU v. Gonzaga: Musing for the dogs”

  1. Mack says:

    Sam Dower must be the last non-Asian on MySpace.

  2. avb31 says:

    Went to the Gale Catlett basketball camp one time as a kid. Worst camp ever.

  3. avb31 says:

    Browne with the post up…nice little wrinkle

  4. jtmountaineer says:

    Devin Williams needs to be at least a 70% free throw shooter if he’s going to be effective offensively.

  5. netbros says:

    Nice to hear the crowd. Huggins got his wish.

  6. Inspectah Jackbo says:

    Sweaters by the score take flight incite a war
    Chicks hit the floor, die hard fans demand more!

  7. avb31 says:

    The big guy from Gonzaga gets away with murder.

  8. pknocker40 says:




  9. avb31 says:

    They have nobody that can stay in front of Staten.

  10. jtmountaineer says:

    Said it once, and I’ll say it throughout this season and next: if only Hugs could recruit a guard or two.

  11. Bobby Heenan says:

    Bad minutes there from Browne. Really odd line up out there with Harris, staten, Henderson, Browne, and Dibo.

  12. avb31 says:

    I’m so glad that Gary Browne has decided to take this game over. Get him out of there Huggins.

  13. jtmountaineer says:

    High correllation of Dibo made shots to Dibo fouls after said made shots.

  14. avb31 says:

    Well, we’re going to have to earn this one. We will get ZERO calls down the stretch.

  15. Bobby Heenan says:

    The Devin Williams offensive IQ needs some work. He has minim lift and hes trying to take the big man to the rack.

  16. avb31 says:

    In fairness to Williams, he’s getting hammered each time he goes in. As Mike pointed out in the blog, the Zag big man dance the tango with our defender every time he sets a screen. No call.

    Gonzaga is the Duke of the west coast. Don’t expect any favorable whistles for us down the stretch.

  17. avb31 says:

    That’s almost funny.

  18. pknocker40 says:

    Dower’s got time to update his MySpace now

  19. smeer says:

    Hugg gonna give the offcials an earful

    karnowsky should have fouled out by now

  20. tls62pa says:

    These calls are not going both ways AT ALL

  21. avb31 says:

    Tough to beat a ranked team 8 v 5

    We’ve been aggressive, driving to the rim, crashing the boards…and somehow, still aren’t in the bonus yet.

  22. avb31 says:

    That’s the game.

  23. avb31 says:

    6 team fouls. Unreal.

  24. jtmountaineer says:

    Head down, weeping.

  25. avb31 says:

    I hate Gonzaga almost as much as I hate Duke. They made some shots down the stretch, but they got away with a TON in the 2nd half. The no calls rattled us.

  26. SheikYbuti says:

    Another opponent with a pulse; another loss.

  27. avb31 says:

    Bold prediction: This team will be 11-4 when Okie St. rolls in to Morgantown on Jan. 11

  28. jtmountaineer says:

    Getting closer, fellas, but that one stings. With four losses already, this team is…about where we thought they’d be, but not where we had hoped.

    I still don’t see, as Mike and nothrs do, a team that’s going to lose some they’re not supposed to. Other than VT, which was too early in the season to be representative of the future body of work, this team has competed in all losses and not looked worse than pretty decent in the victories. But without wins in games like tonight, we shouldn’t set our sights higher than playing spoiler to Big 12 tournament teams. This year.

  29. avb31 says:

    This game turned when Gary Browne and Devin Williams decided to take every shot for a 5:00 stretch.

  30. smeer says:

    well refs didn’t help but we folded just the same

    missed fouls shots and blown defensive assignments – nobody on hot Pango

    Nooren got gyped – might have been a different game if he could play hard on the bearded wonder

    same kind of fouls that the Turk never got the benefit of

    you could see the swing though – nobody willing to take the shot when the momentum shifted

    the mental mountain we have yet to climb

    I will never trust highlight tape again – Dibo was supposed to be able to shoot and put the ball on the floor and go around people. ain’t seeing it on this level

    not to say I don’t like him, but he’s got some work to do on both ends

    almost but not quite

  31. Dann White says:

    I won’t say a lot, they handled it for a while, but they’re young. My first coach, Ferg Giannakis, drilled into us three things indispensable for a win:

    Pass the ball-run the offense
    Offensive rebounds
    Make >80% of free throws

    I wonder if Huggins agrees? What I saw tonight seemed to lack all 3, at varying times, but all in the last 10:00.


  32. Kevin Pangos…damned Canuck hos(er)ed us

  33. Rick says:

    Huggs will fix it. At least that’s what he keeps saying since 2011. Fire Holgorsen.

  34. hershy112 says:

    I haven’t seen a team set that many illegal screens since Georgetown visited the Coliseum.

  35. Foul Shot says:

    Gonzaga owns us.

    They have to learn how to finish.
    That drought in the 2nd half which used to come earlier killed us late last night.
    I seems that Williams driving and trying to bull his way in there on a 7 ftr. does not make for a good offensive plan.

    But hey, things are looking up, at least we have a qualified interim Prez – ugh!

  36. Rugger says:

    Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth.

    Huggs’ mojo has left the building folks, scared away by the pullover/barstool look.

    He’s got until 2023 to fix it so be patient, come to the games and ignore those 14 pesky losses in a row vs ranked competition.

  37. Patchy says:

    Taking the positives…I was gratified to see a game/team for whom a win would have been more than a fluke and a loss that was down to a better opponent and/or one hitting timely shots.

  38. oklahoma mountaineer says:

    Gonzaga is a winning program; however, that said, they have what we really don’t have at this point and that’s inside height with strength and experience to take and hold rebounding position.

    I think Williams is a good player and has the potential to be a great player at WVU. He doesn’t have the experience of playing against men — there’s a difference between playing against 16 year old boys (which he did last year) and 20-21 year old men. They have more experience, strength, and endurance to make plays.

    Another problem I see is that he is really it — Noreen is a decent player but he seem slow to me and gets fouls on him because of it. The other 2 guys signed for rebounding look to be red-shirted due to academics.

    This team can be nails tough next year; this year, not so much……a gritty, effort group, but not a big winner in the Big 12.

  39. Mack says:

    I did not think the Gonzaga game was encouraging. I thought Gonzaga essentially hung around for the first 25-30 minutes… then, when crunch time came, Gonzaga played hard at both ends of the floor and WVU didn’t. Gonzaga had several layups where they beat WVU down the floor off of a made basket.

    During the three (or five) possession sequence where Gonzaga took the lead, they had wide open three-pointers each time down the floor. During that stretch, when it was clear through the television screen that Gonzaga was making their charge, I thought to myself, “WVU won’t play defense on any of these possessions.” Again, sure enough, WVU left guys wide open for three on (I think) three straight possessions and all three shots went in.

    Also during that stretch, on the other end of the floor, Devin Williams missed two or three shots in a row, they couldn’t get a shot for Eron Harris, and Juwan Staten threw up a bad shot. It’s not like the loss last night was something mystical… it’s very easily explainable and it’s the same things I’ve seen out of this year’s WVU team so far this season. It’s frustrating to watch Adrian stand under the basket and let a guy rebound the ball over him and put it back in without contesting the rebound or the shot.

    You definitely see the potential for WVU to be good next year, but this team just doesn’t play defense at all when it matters and they don’t rebound particularly well either.

    The same people complain about the officiating every single game. It’s basketball. It’s all subjective. If you want to complain about officiating, then here’s a few other things you should complaint about which will do nothing but aggravate everyone who reads your comments: (missed holding calls in football, missed traveling calls in basketball, head coaches make too much money, cold weather).

    The officiating was just like it is in every single college basketball game. A call or two that leave you scratching your head… a missed call that you would’ve liked… but that’s about it. It’s strange that Gonzaga’s big guy only had one foul, but I don’t recall ever seeing a play where I shouted at the TV, “Where’s the call?!?”

  40. Mack says:

    And . . . I hate to be the “no moral victories” guy… but Gonzaga travelled all the way to Morgantown and got a road win. In my opinion, having that game in Morgantown was worth at least 10 points more than a theoretical neutral floor where neither team travels. It’s probably worth 20 points more than playing the game at Gonzaga. That’s just a bad loss in my opinion. It was appropriate that Gale Catlett was there, because the game played out like pretty much every Gale Catlett-coached team playing against a good opponent in Morgantown. WVU gets the lead. Other team hangs around. Other team takes the win when it matters. After the game, Catlett rationalizes that the other team is the greatest team in the world.

  41. hershy112 says:

    “I said Karnowski doesn’t move. I lied. He moves whilst screening. Huggins will get that call soon.”

    Just kidding. He didn’t get it. THE WHOLE GAME!

  42. hershy112 says:

    If you’re ever feeling too encouraged by a performance or are being too optimistic, just wait until Mack comments. Nothing positive or encouraging there, I promise you that.

    “And . . . I hate to be the “no moral victories” guy”

    Do you really hate to be him? Because you kinda always are him. And since you are always the negative guy, here are some other things you can incessantly post negatively about: the extensive travel in the Big 12, taxes, and Hitler.

  43. Mack says:

    I’m sorry… I’m insanely encouraged about losing at home to the #20th ranked team that travelled over 2,000 miles.

    I will revert to complaining about the officiating, as hershy has chosen to do. It’s much easier to complain that my team lost because the other team set illegal screens right in front of the officials the entire game but the officials chose not to call them (which lends itself to perhaps the idea that the screens were not illegal) than to acknowledge that WVU played terribly when it counted.

  44. smeer says:

    yea Mack – keep telling Mike Casazza to stop complaining about the officiating

    it didn’t lose the game for us, but it didn’t help

  45. smeer says:

    one little stretch above . . .

    What Henderson did is a foul, but it’s virtually the same as happened to Harris a few trips earlier to get a jump ball.
    Mike Casazza 11 hours ago

    Stunning performance by Karnowski. He’s in a zone.
    Mike Casazza 12 hours ago

    Sooner or later, Karnowski’s Super Mario Bros. invincibility star runs out, right?
    Mike Casazza 12 hours ago

    Virtually impossible with the rules for Harris to have what just happened to him happen without a foul being called.
    Mike Casazza 12 hours ago

    I’m at a loss for how Karnowski has done the same thing all game that Williams just did to get a foul.

  46. hershy112 says:

    That’s fine, you can continue to be negative. When they say an emphasis is going to be placed on moving screens this year and something like last night happens, yeah, I’m probably going to complain about it a little bit. Did we miss shots when it mattered? Heck yeah, we did. Was Devin Williams fouled several times while missing shots under the basket? In my opinion yes. Am I extremely encouraged by the difference in this year’s team compared to last year’s team and the potential these young players have going forward? Absolutely. I’m fully convinced that if we won a national championship in any sport, you would say we got lucky or it was a fluke and we were maybe the 50th worst team in the nation (not 50th best, because that would be against your life motto, you know, using the word best and all).

    Pessimism makes for a short miserable life, my friend, but hey, even E’or had a role in Winnie the Pooh. So enjoy your role, I know you’ve already embraced it!

    Rant over. Let’s talk about WVU sports.

  47. hershy112 says:

    One last thing. Here are some other teams that Gonzaga has beaten while flying most of the way or all the way across the country to play:

    Wake Forest
    Florida State

    I’ll take that company.

  48. Mack says:

    hershy is the man. I am negative about this basketball team because all I see online is about how great they are to watch and how encouraging they are. I’ve still yet to see this team play defense against a halfway decent team. I’ve still yet to see this team win a game against a halfway decent team.

    The key difference between last year’s team and this year’s team is that this year’s team is much more fun to watch because they score more points. Last year’s team was boring and had attitude problems. This year’s team is exciting and doesn’t have attitude problems. But the results are strikingly similar.

    Last year, WVU lost to Duquesne on the road and to every other decent nonconference team they played. This year, WVU beat Duquesne at home and has lost to every decent nonconference team it has played. Last year, WVU beat Virginia Tech at home by a point. This year, WVU lost to Virginia Tech on the road by 5. Sure, WVU looks “encouraging” at times, but they looked encouraging last year against #5 (and eventual national title runner up) Michigan.

    I think you’ll find that I haven’t been negative towards the football team at all because the football team was a bad team rebuilding and they played as such.

    I wouldn’t even say I’m negative about this basketball team… but claiming that these guys are “so fun to watch” and “so encouraging” and “those awful refs” is ignoring the issues, which I have pointed out.

    Eron Harris is good. Terry Henderson is pretty good. The role players are there. With all of that said, why did they lose to Gonzaga at home? They didn’t play defense when it mattered (Valenti: “AGAAAAIN!”). They couldn’t get the ball in the hands of the scorers when it mattered (“AGAAAAIN!”). And Devin got destroyed at both ends of the court (“AGAAAAIN!”).

    I know people love points . . . but I think Casazza could do a hell of a good and bad showing the WVU defense on key possessions, particularly in the game last night and the Virginia Tech game.

  49. Mack says:

    This is turning into message board fodder because everyone is throwing out fandom crap…

    hershy throws out games that happened years ago from “big name” teams and hopes that no one will notice that 1) Gonzaga was better the last few years than they are now and 2) most of those teams they beat weren’t any good.

    Wake Forest was AWFUL two years ago. Xavier sucked two years ago. Tennessee was mediocre (and the game was four years ago).

    Gonzaga lost to Dayton this year on a neutral floor and hasn’t beaten anyone.

    But… I guess we’re all just fans on here from here on out. Let’s call out anyone who doesn’t blame the refs and tell them to go back to the Pitt board!

  50. JP says:

    Mark Few owns Bob Huggins.

    Just like Jim Calhoun.

    Somebody prove me wrong!