Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Terry Henderson scored 16 points against Texas and 28 against Texas Tech, but in between came a two-point output at Kansas State.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — There were milestone moments contained within West Virginia’s 87-81 victory over Texas Tech, such as Terry Henderson exploding (28 points), Nathan Adrian resurfacing (first double-digit league game) and Remi Dibo abiding (DNP coach’s decision).

Yet the outcome itself hardly stood as a program milestone. A mere 5,000 fans braved frigid, treacherous driving conditions to attend, and the ones that did weren’t exactly provoked to storm the court after WVU proved once again to be only marginally better than another of the Big 12’s lesser teams.

Texas Tech, you’ll recall, is enduring a six-year swoon in which it has posted an 18-72 record in conference. And the fact West Virginia has contributed to four of those losses during the most recent 13 months is the epitome of small consolation.

Nope, nothing to preen about from dispatching the Red Raiders, and the Mountaineers sensed such. They realize the real reward—if indeed this season is to provide any—can only be derived by  making hay in the unrelenting stretch that awaits. Beginning with Saturday’s game at Oklahoma State, West Virginia plays nine straight opponents with RPIs of 37 or better.

That’s a daunting lineup for any squad in college basketball, much less the Mountaineers, who stand 0-7 against teams currently in the RPI top 106.

Forget for a moment any daydreams of making the NCAA tournament, and consider whether West Virginia (11-8, 3-3) has even a slender hope of finishing at .500—a mark that would reveal tangible progress from last season’s washout.

With 13 guaranteed games remaining, WVU needs five wins to close at 16-16. And considering the lineup ahead, four of those wins would represent monumental upsets. Court-storming upsets.

Past results from games against Gonzaga, Wisconsin, Purdue and Oklahoma State say WVU on its best night is incapable of pulling out games in crunch time. Results from games against Missouri, Texas and Kansas State scream WVU sometimes is incapable of even pushing an opponent into crunch time.

Whether the Mountaineers reinforce their mediocre perception or prove wrong the doubters most assuredly depends on Henderson and Eron Harris achieving the kind of consistency point guard Juwan Staten has shown.

Honestly, even that may not be enough.

“There’s people that have already wrote us off, so we have just got to stay positive,” said Harris.

And to his point, any win—even another one against the likes of Texas Tech—boosts morale.

Said Henderson after his career-high scoring night: “We’re a game away from being in second place. This league is wide-open. Top teams are losing left and right every night. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.”

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  • Steve

    That's right folks, WVU is playing in a big time conference against big time teams and all this article does is justify WVU's move to the big 12.

    The good news for all you jealous obsessed Marshall trolls is that this game and most of the others will be on national tv. That's what happens when you play on a big time conference against big time teams. All of you Marshall fans/WVU haters get to watch WVU play and then come on here and post your jealous hate filled comments about the coach and players.

    So sorry that Marshall is irrelevant and has to fly to Texas and Oklahoma to play lower level teams. Get used to losing more players like Dre Kane to the big 12. So sit back and enjoy the WVU game. You trolls just add to WVU's tv ratings!!

  • Steve

    That's the great thing about playing in a big time conference such as the Big 12. WVU gets to play a big time schedule against the nation's best teams. And to add to it, most of those games will be nationally televised for the entire country to see.

    That's right Marshall fans/WVU haters. All of you trolls will be watching, and we all know you will because afterwards you all get on here and post every little negative thing about the coach and the players that you can find under the microscope that you have put WVU athletics under.

    Maybe one day MU will get into a real conference so that their best players don't transfer to schools in WVU's conference.

    Enjoy the game Marshall trolls and Lets go mountaineers!!! Thanks for watching!!

  • tw eagle

    I doubt the Mounties will catch OSU sleepwalking again . . . but the effort & teamwork in the TTU game says they may be able to ambush one of these teams dead ahead . . . consistency has not been the forte of this Mountie team . . . the big improvement in the last game says they had a "team talk" and ironed out details & responsibilities that the HC just hasn't been able to get across . . .win five of the remaining games & they hit the NIT . . . possible but unlikely . . .
    their habit is to win a game & think they can mail in the rest of the season . . . EVERY DAY , IN EVERY WAY , work to succeed , nobody is ever gonna hand it to you . . .

  • Dave

    Great article Allan. That's the way to earn those paychecks.

    Have a great day!
    Sincerely, J.R.

  • Mister Man

    Allan, you reinforce the mediocre perception we have of you every day.

    • Steve


  • Yo mountaineers

    I graduated from WVU in '94. I sometimes wish I wasn't so caught up in mountaineers basketball and football, but it is a big part of my life. I am a die hard fan. While last years basketball team and this years football team were very hard to watch and deal with, WVU's big two sports have seen unprecedented success over the last 10 years. The Catlett years were brutal. What did we have, 3 tournament teams in his 20+ year career? My what short memories. This hoops team is solid and will get better. They have talent. I would love to see them make the NIT and make a run. Our football team will be better next year. Everyone needs to get a grip with constant "it's a sad time to be a mountaineer". That's ridiculous.

    Be a real fan and pull your heads out of your you know what.

    Let's go mountaineers!

  • William

    The streak start tomorrow -

    0 - 9

    I'm Lovin' It

    • Alum

      There you go again, telling everyone your IQ.

      Why do you continue to insult yourself? Oh, you don't know any better and don't get out too often from Mommy's basement.

  • Billy

    Allan Taylor,
    Well written article. It is what it is and any reasonable person would agree. A few of the posters on here are thinking it has something to do with JR and the img controversy, i disagree. Like one of the politicians said a few years ago, you can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day it is still a pig.

    • Mister Man

      No politician said that, recently. You should leave your pig alone.

      • Billy

        I never said recently, I said a few years ago. Your reading comprehension is terrible.

    • Mister Man

      Personal experience?

      • William

        The streak start tomorrow -

        0 - 9

        I'm Lovin' It

        • Jed

          Wrong as usual. LOL

      • Billy

        Any experience I may or may not have had is in the past, and i do not kiss and tell. You need to have your own fantasy and leave me out of it.

  • Master of One

    Allan Taylor,

    I have to say this is a wonderful assessment as to what is going on with WVU Basketball. You could not be any more spot on.

    I predicted the Mountaineers would win 15 and they just may prove me wrong and win 16. Not even an NIT caliber team by anyone's estimates with NO signature wins in the last 2 seasons.

    Pay no attention to the Huggins relatives and Oliver Luck paid trolls. They want only "sunshine & roses" and cry and BooHoo every time the real truth is stated.

    And yes...It is SAD SAD time to be a WVU Mountaineer...wherever you may be!

    • Alum

      Hi William

    • Big fan

      As for your remark (sad sad day to be a wvu mountaineer) I can see your not a fan of the wvu mountaineers can't imagine it's bad that the girls basketball is ranked 18th the gymnastics team is very good again, o wait a minute the the rifle team must be bad. So if you feel it's sad to be a mountaineer you must be stupid

    • Mister Man

      How fortunate you are not a Mountaineer.

  • Peyton

    I'm just tired of people saying "well, they play hard and don't quit" if that were the case they would win some games. I'm getting tired of hearing they're much improved and blah blah blah... Can they win a big game for once.. Too much talent to be losing

  • pghmountaineer

    Wow, some of you folks are awfully hard on Alan today. What gives you any real hope that this team will do any better than what Alan is suggesting. I for one hope they can pull off a few upstes but the reality is, they just don't have the horses to compete wuth the up coming teams. It pains me to see how far we've fallen, but I am a realist and know full well we are a long way from being competitive in this league.
    Look at the attendance for home games. That say it all about what the fans think our chances are of making any noise this year.
    I really hope I'm wrong, but there's no evidence we can win more than 3 more games this year.

    • Steve

      Bet you $1000.00 WVU wins more than 2 games this year. Let's set the over under at 2.5.

      Put your money where your big mouth is

  • big harv

    I guess I am unsure of why there is a problem understanding what to expect from this year's team.
    I recall several fans writing that the incoming class was a great one on paper,and that if nothing happened to cause any concerns, that this group would be great to watch in the coming years.
    I have not missed a game, and I have seen a team that has not quit,and one that shows improvment in every game..Lets not lose sight of that,and also remember that we have a really good group coming in that should be of tremendous help.
    hey, have a little faith..Try showing the team that just like them,,you won't give up..Lets gooooooo,,Mountaineers..Big Harv

    • Alum

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • WV Loyal

    Wow! What a positive outlook. While I can appreciate the realistic view. I struggle with you not be able to provide any positive points about this Team. Is, by chance, your glass half empty?

  • chad

    If all you guys want to read is holly jolly mountaineer puff pieces go vover to WVU Sports web page and read Jon Antonik. Allan here is a real journalist who is just telling it like it is.

    Great article Allan. Nails this season on the head. I just hope next year we have another big man or two to complment our guards. We get that it could be another sweet 16 or better season

  • wvfreys

    This was a pathetic article that has no substance, not thought put into it. I would put this on your resume once John is done using you for his revenge. Thanks for finally showing your true loyalty - to John Rasse. At least you know who writes your pay checks each week. You should consider writing for Marshall and join Dave Wilson in dream land.

    • Bullman

      Couldn't of said it better myself!