The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

March 19, 2013

Loss to Texas Tech was typical of entire season for Huggins’ team

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia men’s basketball team’s final game of the year seemed to size up the entire 2012-13 season very well.

In losing by 71-69 on a tip-in by Texas Tech with just four-tenths of a second left, the Mountaineers lacked consistency. They played very well at times throughout the Big 12 Conference Tournament first-round contest, only to fall short at the end.

That was typical in numerous games this year as WVU wound up with a disheartening 13-19 record, competing in the Big 12 for the first time.

The year-ending seven-game losing streak is the longest in legendary coach Bob Huggins’ great 31-year coaching career. This team also snapped the school’s nine-year postseason number of consecutive appearances. So were the 19 losses his highest number ever in a year.

West Virginia suffered a school-high 20 losses in 2001-02, Gale Catlett’s final year as head coach. His 1998-99 team had the program’s only other 19-loss season.

You might want to know that WVU enjoyed just 18 seasons of 20 or more wins in the last 42 years of men’s basketball competition.

This year’s team gave up more points per game (68.1) than those of the past 10 years. Offensively, the team’s average number of points per game (66.1) is the lowest in Huggins’ six seasons as head coach here.

As a result, WVU finished without at least one player averaging double figures in scoring since World War II was raging in 1944.

Eron Harris, a fine freshman guard, was the team’s leading scorer at 9.8 points per game this year. He tallied 10 points or more in 12 of his last 17 games.

Last summer Huggins told me that, “We’re going to be better than we were last season — a lot better.”

Unfortunately, the Mountaineers were worse — a lot worse — than he anticipated.

He definitely did not see this disappointing season coming and places the blame upon himself — not his players. He had hoped he could “fix it” as the season progressed.

Unfortunately, that never happened.

Huggins, who has 713 career victories, ranks No. 3 among the nation’s active winningest Division I coaches. He coached in his 1,000th career game on Feb. 9 at TCU.

He said recently, “I’ve always kind of taken a lot of pride in the fact I could get guys to play hard. I could get guys to compete.

“People didn’t like to play against us because we played so hard and we competed so hard.

“We tried to rebound the ball. We just did the right things. For some reason, I haven’t been able to reach these guys, which is my fault.

“I should have found a way to reach them.”

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall

    Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished  a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gardner improving with broken neck

    Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video