Simple question

As Bob Huggins explains away another  close loss to a quality opponent, I ask you this: Has WVU proved enough this season or must these Mountaineers do something especially special to establish their worth?

I ask because the team is torn on this sort of thing. WVU is really, really close, but that’s not new.

“It would definitely be a confidence-booster and give us the confidence to go out there and keep beating these teams,” Harris said. “I think something people aren’t thinking about is maybe some people aren’t used to winning, aren’t used to being the guy that won the big game or the team that won the big game. Some people are scared to be great like that.

“That’s a hump we need to get over. It’s a mental thing. At the end of the day, can you be as confident as you are at the beginning of the game? In big games, are you as confident as you are in smaller games? I think that great players aren’t scared to be the winner.”

15 Responses to “Simple question”

  1. hershy112 says:

    Obviously playing tough against teams like Oklahoma State is a good thing, but there are a lot of teams that have played close games and not been very good. I still think this team could be a tournament team, and next year, I think this team could be very good. I still think they need to get over that hump though. Each time you beat a quality opponent, the one-point loss to OK State looks better, but if you continue to lose close games to every quality opponent, no one will care. Gotta get Texas tonight.

  2. Parks says:

    What we need to limit are stupid shots. When we’re outsized like we were on Saturday, those long rebounds just turn into fast breaks for the other team. If we would have held the ball and worked the offense on just 3 possesions that game, we win. I think this team is almost there–they at least are seeing their mistakes, but now it’s time to start limiting those mistakes in critical moments and that hump will get a whole lot smaller. I’m very curious to see how they come out tonight against Texas. Should be a very good game.

  3. Gordo says:

    I think this team has just about hit their ceiling. They may get a little bit better, but I think its more likely that they will regress before its all over. I think they will get tired over the course of the season. As Parks pointed out, we’re living and dying by the 3 and that may get us a few quality wins but not enough to send us to the tournament.

    Hopefully, I’m wrong.

  4. jtmountainer says:

    The more humps this team gets over this year, the better off they’ll be next year. I don’t think this team has hit their ceiling because there’s so much season left to be played, and the development of a freshman can come in strides rather than steps. That’s a can and not a will. But Devin Williams is going to get better this season, and I’m still hopeful Nathan Adrian will improve his defense enough to stay on the court when it matters. Dibo, too, but with him it’s more hope than belief.

    Harris is the most quotable player we’ve had since, well, I guess Kilicli was pretty quotable, but not for the right reasons. I do hope Harris can shore up his ball handling very soon. The last few games haven’t been his best, but I always like his outlook.

  5. Bobby Heenan says:

    I tend to agree with Gordo. I too hope I’m wrong.

    I do think there’s some room for improvement, including with Harris. He seems to be pressing a little on offense, and with Staten playing at such a high level he may have to sit back and wait for some more spot-up threes a little later in the shot clock as Staten continues to be able to beat his man off the dribble or off the high ball screen.

  6. JC says:

    A lot of team can play other (better) teams close. Good teams find a way to win some of those games, while great teams win most of those games. This team is good…..

  7. Parks says:

    Harris has driven me absolutely crazy the last 3 games.

    Bobby–you are spot on, he needs to be patient and wait for Staten to work the offense through everyone. Terry’s 3-pointer at Texas Tech is a good example of what will happen when you let the offense come to you. Terry gets a lot of open looks because he works within the offense and finds a spot to wait for the pass. He’s not trying to dribble through 4 guys in the middle. If Eron can get that mindset, he’s going to be one of the greats at WVU. He’s just got to lose that Kobe mentality. I still can’t believe he said that earlier in the season, either. I know I make a big deal of it in my own head, but every turnover he commits while trying to dribble through a crowd all I can think is “you’re not #$%^@#$ Kobe. Stop it.” I’m not trying to beat the kid up either, I think he’s right behind Staten as one of the most important pieces to this team, I just want the Eron we had at the beginning of the season. He’ll get there, they all will but I’m probably harder on him because I expect so much from him.

  8. Dann White says:

    My first word’s on this team were a direct quote of my first b-ball coach; Ferguson Giannakis:

    1.Pass the ball (run your offense)
    2.Get offensive rebounds
    3.Make your free throws

    Sounds obvious, of course, things that are true usually do. When I saw this team play William & Mary, it struck me that they weren’t passing the ball enough to set up their offensive formation. For that reason they were out of position if the quick shot was missed. Result: no offensive rebound – posession change without points.
    There wasn’t a hell of a lot of fouls against anyone with a poor FT percentage, therefore no problem with the free throws in that game. The same wasn’t the case in a couple of televised contests I watched.
    Overall these are tendencies that improve with coaching and therefore I believe that this team may just find their winning combination very soon. I feel good about some post-season possibilities also.
    Amen on Eron’s quotability, now if he can get his game to the same level as his quotes, we’ll be cooking with gas.
    DBW

  9. ffejbboc says:

    At some point this season (soon), “playing hard” has to equate to a win or this team will lose hope.

  10. The 25314 says:

    Not really a simple question or even a question, singular. The haven’t proven anything this season or done anything special, let alone especially special. They’re winless against the rpi 150. They’re better than last year’s special Olympic squad. So they have that going for them, which is nice.

  11. hershy112 says:

    Parks,

    In no way do I think Eron is Kobe, but referencing turnovers is not applicable. In Kobe’s last 6 games he played, had 8, 3, 7, 7, 5, and 4 turnovers. When Linsanity was happening a couple years ago, Jeremy Lin had about 6-7 turnovers per game. The moral of the story is if you score enough points, no one cares how many times you turned it over. That’s just what basketball has become.

    All of that being said, I’m on the same page as you in that I expect a lot from Harris. He’s a sophomore and in my opinion going to be a great player, and I’m all for giving this team my patience this year.

    One more thing. At the start of the season I thought Harris would be our best player, but as far as I’m concerned, Staten is easily our best player, and second place isn’t that close. He has taken his game to a new level this year.

  12. netbros says:

    Which team will show up tonight? The one with drooping shoulders and a hangover from the tough loss, or a very mad team who are pissed that they had one taken away from them? If it’s the latter, they should win by double digits.

  13. Parks says:

    Hersh–I should have done a better job writing that up. I wasn’t comparing in terms of turnovers. When the Lakers need a basket (and Kobe isn’t out nursing his age), who’s the guy who always has the ball at the end of the game? Who’s the guy who will do a fade away 20 feet from the basket and everyone be ok with it? My point is, Kobe can do those types of things at the end of the game. To date, Eron cannot in that situation because he tries to put the ball on the floor and go through 3 or 4 guys. I see at times that he’s trying to draw the foul, but he’s never going to in those situations late in the game. Thus, they turn into turnovers. When he settles down and lets the offense come to him instead of forcing things, he is brilliant. Between Eron, Terry and Staten, we could have a pretty nasty 3 headed monster with Devin down low (I still haven’t found a consistent 4 I love yet). They just all need to let the offense run through them. When they do that, they’re unstoppable. Again, I’m a huge fan of Eron which is probably why I watch what he does on the court a lot closer than others.

  14. hershy112 says:

    Parks,

    I know you weren’t comparing in terms of turnovers. I just find any reason to throw that info out there when people talk about great playes. Ha. I agree with you on Eron and pretty much everything else you mentioned in your comment.

  15. Parks says:

    I get what you’re saying and for the record, I’ve never been a Kobe fan. Jordan WAS better and LeBron IS better. Even compared at all three of their peak years. Kobe is destined for the HOF, which he deserves, I’ve just never liked the guy.