MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Bramlage Coliseum was cannonball noisy, Wabash Cannonball-noisy to be precise, and West Virginia did nothing to quiet the rumble and the roar.

No. 13 Kansas State steamrolled the Mountaineers 71-61, leading by as many 21 points and dropping WVU to 1-11 against teams with winning records.

Only a 10-0 run by West Virginia over the final 3:26 — after K-State coach Bruce Weber removed his starters — made the final score respectable.

“We give ‘em what, five layups in half-court defense in the first half and probably another three or four in the second half?” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “So you’re talking 16 to 20 points on point-blank layups that eighth graders can make. How do you get those kind of shots against a half-court defense?”

“We have breakdowns and when you’re not any good, you can’t have breakdowns.”

The Wildcats (21-5, 10-3) led 58-40 with 9:24 to go when Eron Harris fouled out with zero points and only two shots. Harris knocked down Will Spradling on a screen away for the ball for his fourth foul, and officials immediately added a technical for Harris’ fifth foul claiming the blow was extra bruising.

“Spradling, that’s how he plays — he flops most of the time,” said WVU’s Deniz Kilicli. “He gets under bigs and he does a good job. I’m not saying this as a negative because he makes those plays and Eron’s a freshman. Hopefully it will be a learning experience.”

Spradling, whose 19 points topped five K-State players in double figures, made both ends of the one-and-one and the two technical free throws.

There was no mention of WVU coach Bob Huggins during the pregame introductions, per Big 12 policy. But Huggins earned himself an ovation with 16:25 left in the game, slapped with a technical after feeling Kilicli was hit on a close-in shot that went out of bounds to K-State.

Spradling, 7-of-7 from the line, made both free throws from the Huggins technical to give the Wildcats a 43-22 margin.

Kansas State sunk three quick 3-pointers and made 8 of its first 12 shots overall. By halftime, the Wildcats had cooled off to 50-percent shooting but enjoyed a 33-20 cushion. K-State, which led 33-15 after a Spradling’s wide-open 3 from the top of the key, had 10 assists on its 11 first-half baskets.

“We don’t have the luxury to give people layups, dunks and wide-open 3s because we can’t make plays on the offensive end,” said Kilicli. “We are limited offensively.”

Exacerbating the first-half woes for WVU (13-13, 6-7), Harris was scoreless in three minutes after picking up his second foul trying to stop Angel Hernandez on a fast break. Kilicli picked up his second down low after seven minutes, leading to an old-school 3-point play by Thomas Gipson.

Kilicli scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting but grimmaced after a second-half scrum when an official blew the whistle near his ear. It was a sound the players heard frequently thanks to 49 combined fouls.

The Mountaineers were 7-of-23 from the floor (30 percent) and 1-of-8 from 3-point land in the opening half, when its starters produced only seven points.

Kansas State shot 50 percent from the floor compared the Mountaineers 40 percent.

Reserve Nino Williams scored 13 points and Thomas Gipson and Angel Hernandez scored 11 each for the Wildcats, who temporarily took a half-game lead on conference co-leaders Kansas and Oklahoma State.

K-State’s All-American candidate Rodney McGruder scored 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting. Shane Southwell, who had 17 points in the first game against WVU, made his lone shot — a 3-pointer.

“I think (being balanced) is probably the best thing about our team,” said Wildcats coach Bruce Weber. “Every game, it is somebody else. Angel, Jordan and Shane had big games the other night. Rodney (McGruder) had good numbers, but not great numbers. Tonight it was Will and Nino stepping up.

“We had five guys in double figures, so I think that is what our team is about. If you take Rodney away, there are still some other people who can make some plays.”

SHOOTING DOWN WVU

Just like Phil Forte (26 points) and Brady Heslip (20 points) before him, Spradling found himself open on the perimeter too often for Huggins’ liking.

“We did a terrible job guarding him. You give him open shots, he’s going to make ‘em,” the coach said.

Spradling was 5-of-9 overall and 2-of-4 from 3-point range, scoring 11 points more than his season average.

“If we’re guarding the shooter and all he does is shoot, then you shouldn’t be the one giving the most help,” said West Virginia point guard Juwan Staten.

“I think we’re kind of backward. When it’s a guy that can’t really shoot, I feel like we’re hugging him. But then when we’ve got a guy who can shoot, that (defender) is the one giving the most help. I don’t really know the reason for that. It’s just something we’ve got to watch on film and try to fix.”

QUIET ON THE HUGGINS FRONT

Thanks to a Big 12 policy precluding teams from introducing head coaches along with the starting lineups, the pregame reception for Huggins was anticlimactic, especially in light of the buildup for his return to the Little Apple after leaving six seasons ago.

“I like this place — the people have been wonderful,” Huggins said after the game. “It’s always nice to see people you haven’t seen in a while, but at the end of the day, it’s a business trip. We’re supposed to win. We didn’t.”

STATITUDES

Mountaineers center Aaric Murray just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. He was 0-of-3 from 3-point range but also had several misses from point-blank range to finish 4-of-12 overall.

Staten played turnover-free ball for 20 minutes, finishing with eight points and eight assists. The sophomore also made three steals.

EL NINO

The sophomore Williams, who entered the night averaging 4.5 points, had 13 for K-State — his highest output in 12 games.

“Coach Weber just told me and some of the guys who were not playing that much in conference play to just keep a good attitude and keep our heads up because we are going to get an opportunity,” Williams said. “You do not know when, but it is going to come. I just kept a good attitude and Shane (Southwell) got into foul trouble, so I got my opportunity and I just tried to play hard and do the little things.”

bubble graphic

66

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Shawn

    Just wanted to share this video with anybody who hasn't seen it. To me it looks like a group of kids/coaches who are still united. These players love Huggs and will stand with him.

    http://www.wvusports.com/mediaplayer.cfm?streamID=1935

  • JimJim

    What you going to do now Lucky, it looks like the crowd is turning ugly? Two coaches are having problems. The Dude is losing assistant coaches, and not that good at recruiting. It took the other league coaches one half season to stop his offense. And, with Hugg, if you were a recruit sitting at home watching and see him act that way, would you be interested in playing for him, really. I guess that the Big 12 will keep WVU around for someone the beat up on. But the travel cost is going to kill us. I think we will hear talk of cutting non-revenue producing sports soon. But, we all enjoy the WVU sponsored beer party, go 'eers.

  • John

    Should of stayed in the Big East. WVU is a chihuahua thinking its a pitbull .

  • BlueGoldManiac

    Keep coaching Huggins! There's alot more people in this state who love and respect you as a person and coach. You'll get it turned around.

  • big tom

    i really can't stand the way huggie tries his beat to humble his players during time outs. I can't get over the way he shouted at Henderson, just a freshman.. i predict he transfers. how many more, i don't have a guess.
    the man is out of control. he acts like a ten year old having a temper tandrum. And it embarrasses all of wv. If he only realized how this is hurting future recruiting..
    Luck should really talk to him... yes i am not satisfied either, but my God, the way he treats his players we'll never get a 5 star to come to wvu.,,, it's just not right, it's classless.

  • Jethro

    These kids know they aren't playing very well. I am sure they feel pretty bad right now.there is is enough blame to go around. Personal attacks should be stopped. It only shows immaturity

  • BlueGoldManiac

    There's not much Deniz can do really other than sit in the paint. The guards miss him alot but like you said he doesn't really have that ability to cut to the basket. I think our recruits next year are better built for the Big 12.

    • Stan

      Yeah I agree. And I'm not really trying to be negative about Kilicli. Thats just the way he is. He's a big guy. Maybe it would help to go to more of a zone offense for him. And maybe that's what Huggins is trying to do and I am just not seeing it. He sure knows more about basketball in his pinky than I ever will. Heck, I read his book on motion offense and I think its pretty darn brilliant.

  • Phil M.

    If we are running the motion offense then we need to start getting the motion part going. I did see some resemblance of a motion offense at times against Texas Tech. But what I see most of the time are guys standing around, no motion, no cutting, no screens, just standing.

    • Stan

      I agree with you. I think a big problem is our bigs. It looks to me like our guards do a pretty good job getting it started, but then Kilicli just stands in the paint for 10-20 seconds. He may step out to prevent a foul but then he's back in. He's not very fast or athletic so he doesn't cut or screen well. And I don't think I would have such a big problem with him setting up base under the basket (even though it disrupts the offense) if he was a better rebounder. I hate to criticize the kid, and maybe I'm way off base, but thats what it looks like to me.

  • cutty77

    My last comment on this story.Does Cinny look like they miss Huggy? and Does it look like K-State misses Huggy? I think everyone knows the answer.In todays College Basketball world its all about The W's my Friend.

    • Stan

      There are many fans in Cincinnati that miss Huggins. Just the other day a Cincinnati fan on an ESPN message boards said he would take Huggins back and other fans agreed with him. Cincinnati has not had the level of success that they had under Huggins with their current coach, not final fours or even elite eights. And Huggins was only at K State one year and they still love him there.

      • Stan

        And I agree that you have to be kind of smart to run the motion offense, and I have the faith that these guys will eventually be able to do it. I love Kilicli, but the two most important people in my opinion, are the point gaurd and the center/forward. And I just don't think Kilicli runs it very well. And after Mazulla left we didn't have a gaurd that could run it. I think Staten can do it, but he needs help from Kilicli. I don't know, I'm not an expert. Thats just my opinion.

  • Shawn

    This all started because Big TOOTY can't handle the fact that we all have our own opinions. I could care less if he loves our coach, team or state. To me he is a boil on the a** of society and a sh*t stain in the underwear of life. This is the last post i'll ever put on here that directly involves him because like i said before he's not worth the time or effort. Some people just enjoy degrading other people and they bask in the waters of negativity. If he chooses to comment on what I post then that's his God given right but I refuse to stoop to his level any longer because its way to far to travel.

    LET'S GO EERS!!!

    • big tom

      why don't you do yourself a favor and not post at all, thereby stop showing the world just how stupid you are.

  • big tom

    actually i was talking about pea brain shawn the sister lover,,, but if the shoe fits.
    you guys live in a dream world, look at life as it is, not as what you want it to be.
    we are a bad team, and huggie isn't helping matters....post game, he shamefully , threw the players under the bus, not one time did he accept respon. for the bad play.
    it was always "they" who failed to do things right... these are young kids, they want to do right, they want the approval of their coach, so why do they not...well, huggie , look in the mirror, you don't have beilein's boys here anymore, it's all on you...a team is a reflection of their coach....
    i am sure kstate donors enjoyed you back, did you go out and drink all night, and be the last one to go home" ,,, you made your bed huggie.. you got the fat contract, now you are laying down, like a sick dog.

    • stan

      Man it's just a game. Relax.

      • Hoffy

        No kidding! And what's up with the juvenile name-calling and getting personal with other folks who comment here?
        C'mon man!

  • cutty77

    @Stan,
    You make a good Point about motion offense,only thing you left out,you have to be Kinda of Smart to Run it,thats where WE have the Problem.This is not and has not in the last 2 years been a Very Smart Basketball Team,and seems to be getting worse.The Yelling seems to be getting worse too.If the players don't know the plays by now.HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM

  • Stan

    For the people who complain about Hugg's offense, he runs a motion offense similar to what beat us last night. It's not easy to learn but is a very good offense, and teams that run it are much more successful in the NCAAs than teams that run that Beilein/Stanford style offense.

  • pghmountaineer

    Just for the record, the comment about forfieting the remaining games came from frustration and not in a literal sense.
    What's concerning to me is that I se a downward trend in this program and as the season goes on they aren't making any progress. If you have inexperienced talent, as time goes on, you will see improvement. This team isn't showing any improvement as the season come sto a close.
    And one more thing, I don't see a whole lot of difference in Deniz K's performance as a freshman and now as a senior. It seems to me that by this time he should be a major factor on this team. But he spends more time on the bench in foul trouble than on the floor.
    Last night's performance was indicative that this team and the coaching staff is clearly not in the same book let a lone on the same page.
    There is no way anyone can conclude that this program is headed in the right direction.

  • Phil M.

    The off season recruitting has got to be an A. I hope as I have heard that some of what is already committed is pretty good. I played basketball for a long time and I've been screamed at, hit in the back of the head with the basketball in practice for running up the court with my back turned to the other team, etc. This was back in the 70's when you didn't have all this press and media attention. So is Huggs any different than the coaches I had 40 years ago ? No !! But in the culture we are living he needs to be real careful and rein in some of his emotions. Also, he needs some players who can shoot the rock. As for Huggs I love him. He's one of us and he's an alum as am I. But, I'm not a great fan of the offense he runs. Give me John B's offense anyday. Go Mountaineers !!

    • Shawn

      Lets face it....there's about 4 or 5 kids who have the ability to make shots. Thats not a good number at all. Miles, Noreen, and Rutledge just dont make shots. If they would get in the gym like Flowers and Wellington Smith did and put in some time, i believe they would be able to contribute more. For all those non-Huggs fans, John Beilein did bring in some shooters but they didnt develop into talented players until they were under Huggs.

      Two good things about Beilens recruits were:

      1) They made some shots (mostly threes)

      And

      2) They took care of the ball (less than 7 or 8 turnovers a game)

      I do however remember WVU losing to Louisville after hitting 20 plus threes in the game. He never recruited kids who could rebound the ball or give them an inside threat.

      I see flaws in his system just like you see them in Huggs system.