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.”

bubble graphic

45

bubble graphic

Comments

  • 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

      Personal experience?

      • 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.

      • William

        The streak start tomorrow -

        0 - 9

        I'm Lovin' It

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • Mister Man

      How fortunate you are not a Mountaineer.

    • 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

    • Alum

      Hi William

  • 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

  • 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

    Allan,
    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!

  • Phil M.

    Hey remember guys these are the Metro News guys of John Rasse. The guy that sued WVU over the IMG deal.

    Their not paid to be pro WVU and Oliver Luck only to appear that way.

    Their motto lose WVU or no we meant yeah go team. Sad to say seeing as how we use to be one happy family. Or know I meant only when rooting for the Mountaineers not when getting broadcast deals.

    • Steve

      I'm glad that Oliver much didn't give in to the good ole boy network and instead went with a nationally known company that provides third tier rights services to over 90 div. 1 schools. I'm glad he took the guaranteed 85 million.

      • wvrefugee

        There were/are no guaranteed monies! Read the contract! Only when revenue marks were reached did incentives kick in.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    cheer on these brave lads who are being thrown to the lions! lets go mountaineers!

  • OKANYDAY

    Good Luck WVU in these future conference games. Let's show our great fans we can win some of these games; that's why they are played! Go WVU.

  • Todd

    Shawn, the reason why he wrote the article is because WVU doesn't have a chance in you know where to even finish at .500. The sooner you snap out of you're denial, the less painful it will be for you.

    • shawn

      Yea and we werent supposed to beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl either.

      • shawn

        Or Clemson....or win the Big East Championship and go to the final four a few years ago.

        • Steve

          Or Georgia in the sugar bowl...or Kentucky in the elite 8

    • Steve

      Todd you must be talking about Marshall...most of the posters on here are Marshall trolls who hope the absolute worst for WVU. They don't pay attention to MU basketball because the team is pathetic.

      All Marshall fans have to watch WVU basketball because most games are nationally televised. That happens when you are in. Big time conference and play a big time schedule.

  • shawn

    I mean you didn't even talk about tomorrows match-up.

    • Billy

      This story if you take your time and read it, is not about tomorrows game. It is a review of the remainder of the schedule in comparison to what has happened in the games already played. His story is based on facts and he did the work to provide the numbers to back up his rational. He does not wear rose colored glasses.

  • chasmo

    allan- ONE GAME @ A TIME-- why write this article ??????????

  • shawn

    I'm not real sure why you even wrote this article.

    • squad

      the reason is we need to look into the mirror and say "I cant. I cant. I cant" and then you join the ranks of those who most assuredly cant. it is a cold bath of reality. but the fact is that some of these top teams will also lose some games along the way.. and Baylor being beaten at tech should tell us that. Iowa State has been up and down.. and if one of those teams isn't shooting well, do we assume they dunk it down our throats? I don't.
      I don't think we really know yet and I think this article is more of a plea to the fans to have realistic expectations. I just want to say that I know these guys will play hard. and we'll see what happens.. but on paper and based on so far, it will be hard, but not impossible.I'm more interested in our position in the B12 standings than overall w-l for now. we are still carving out our relationships with these programs, we need to be dealing on em to represent well. these are initial impressions, you know...