Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

After a 28-point night that led to a 91-86 upset of Oklahoma, Eron Harris (10) celebrated with teammate Gary Browne.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Three consecutive wins, bedazzled by two end-game rise-ups from its star guards, have abruptly altered the perception of West Virginia’s basketball season.

At least it has within West Virginia.

Eron Harris doubts the Mountaineers have earned much regard from the No. 8-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (17-5, 8-1), who are front-running toward a 10th consecutive Big 12 title.

“They’re aware of us, but they probably think that we’re trash,” said Harris.

“They’re going to go at us like they’re going to beat us easy. That’s what they’re probably thinking.”

Coming off a 28-point outburst during an overtime upset of Oklahoma, Harris sees promise in WVU (14-9, 6-4) being tied for third place in the Big 12. Yet he understands there’s miles of ground to make up before his team can ponder an NCAA tournament bid. Even a string of quality wins over Baylor (RPI No. 53), Kansas State (No. 38) and the Sooners (No. 21) has only lifted the Mountaineers to No. 72 in the index.

“We can’t get comfortable,” said Harris, whose 22-point second half against Oklahoma included a game-extending 3-pointer late in regulation. That milestone shot came a week after point guard Juwan Staten beat Baylor 66-64 on a reverse layup with 3 seconds left.

Contained within those victories, however, were stretches in which WVU flailed in the same manner that got it beat earlier in the season. Like going nearly the five minutes without scoring at Baylor, or squandering a 14-point second-half lead to Oklahoma.

Harris insisted the Mountaineers aren’t deceived by the winning outcomes: “We’ve got to be more efficient and more consistent. And we’ve got to be tougher.”

Certainly, West Virginia needs to be tougher than it showed last year at Allen Fieldhouse, when the Jayhawks parlayed an avalanche of dunks, 3s and swatted shots into a 91-65 laugher. The romp featured Ben McLemore scoring 36 to surpass Danny Manning’s single-game freshman record and Jeff Withey coming within one block of a triple-double.

Both those players are gone, but come Saturday, Harris and the Mountaineers encounter a Kansas team reloaded with new stars and currently atop the RPI.

“They blew us out last year at their place, but we’re ready,” Harris said. “We’re going to go in there and fight.”

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Comments

  • Wow

    ????

  • brent

    Mad hatter,
    Your opinion no longer matters. We all see that your just trying to stir the pot and get ppl fired up. Good try. Oh and btw, WVU will always be superior to Marshall. In every sport. The only reason Marshall is even competing in football is because you guys can take people that don't have the grades to go to the power 5 conf schools. And that IS the ONLY reason.... Have a nice day

  • brent

    Ummm Harris is right. Most ppl outside of wv do think were trash. When i was in the marines, i got my balls busted all the time about being from wv. I mean all the time, and im not trash, i hate rednecks, those are the ppl that make this state look bad. But he is right. I know my friends were messing around but you just dont make up some stuff, i could tell some of the stuff they were saying they had heard from someone. But we have a bad rep outside of this state. Were inbred, were all fat, we all live in mobile homes 3 feet apart from each other. I could go on and on lol

    • Wow

      Watch the news, there is, as you would say " Trash" in every state. I guess trash depends on the person doing the looking, I mean judging.
      People don't have to be poor and live in a mobile home to be trash. Sounds to me it is your attitude that is trash.

      • brent

        What are talking about? I am simply stating this state and the ppl in it get made fun of alot. I know there is " trash " in every state. Im just sharing my experinces as far as other ppls perception of this state is. Even the brass would give me a hard time about being from wv. I really dont care what you think of my attitude

      • Wow

        If I can't reply, my mommy has taken my toys and sent me to my room. I have homework to do loser.

    • Wow

      Brent, why don't you move away from the trash in this state. There is trash in every state. As far as we know you may be trash.

  • Leroy j gibbs

    Realistically I think we will go to and win the nit.don't appreciate the haters out there. Huggins has made this team a lot better than last year. He is truly a great coach. Next year will be big for wvu!

    • mad hatter

      confusing, he's the one responsible for dismanteling this team, now he's a hero cause he is trying to correct his own wrong doings, at 10,000 $ per day.

      • sput

        mad hatter u understand nothing about basketball or coaching

      • Scherrmanater

        Great points, also confusing why Mad HATER even cares about WV basketball!

        • Steve

          Great point...I'm not sure why he and done of the other fans care so much about WVU basketball. They should start worrying about another losing season for the herd in the nation's weakest conference.

    • Mister Man

      I couldn't agree more. Yeh buddy. Things are, truly, looking good.

  • OKANYDAY

    Harris needs to keep his mouth shut and play basketball. Who cares what KANSAS thinks of us, we need to do our talking on the basketball court, instead of the newspaper. I don't have any patience with WVU players making cheap comments like Harris made.

    • Charles

      The kid has to say something with a reporter in his face asking questions there buddy. He was not talking trash. He was stating an opinion. These kids have a reporter to talk to every day. What are you supposed to say. Harris is a great kid. How bout you shut up on the stupid comments from the peanut gallery

      • Leroy j gibbs

        +1

      • Derek

        Well said, these young men have played with heart all season, yes there has been some bumps in the road but as a loyal fan who supports the program and attends every single home I'm very pleased. And for those of you who question Huggs as a coach you need to consider watching another sport. Not only does he care about his players but he cares about WVU and puts his team and the University first!

    • Allan Taylor

      Nothing cheap about what Harris said. He was just pointing out a fact that WVU might be underrated going into the Phog. He's competitive, but also he's a level-headed player, not a senseless rambler.

      • tw eagle

        AT , WHO brought up the "respect" issue in your interview . . . was Harris trying to get your opinion as to "what if"
        the Mounties had played well enough to garner respect from a top10 team - or rather a line you fed to him to create a headline ? Harris' words after the second Okie St game - says this young man is class act . . . I think this a misunderstanding created by you , probably inadvertently , and not expressed well in your copy . . . even if this is Harris' original thought , you as a Mountaineer media man should have cleared this comment with Huggins before exposing Harris to ridicule . . .

    • GoEers

      Hey okanyday if you don't like what he has to say then go back to reading about Marshall's pathetic basketball team and pathetic conference you no good jealous troll

    • GoEers

      what's wrong okanyday....are you green with envy now that wvu's basketball team is is going to have a winning season? A few weeks ago you posted that WVU wouldn't win more than 13 games. Sorry they disappointed you and all your other jealous pathetic marshall fans.

      • OKANYDAY

        Well you show me the quote where I said WVU would not win more than 13 games ! I want you to give the date, time and message. I never said that. Also, Harris is a good kid, but he doesn't need to be telling everyone a mythical quote on what another team feels about us; that's called poor mouthing, with an inferiority complex. We are not inferior to no one, let alone what someone else says about us. Last but not least, the only other comments I have made has been about Huggins and his attire. Huggins is the worst dressed coach in College basketball period. This is my opinion, and no I'm not a Marshall fan. You goody goody's on here want everything sugar-coated. Well, it's time you man up, and expect a better perception of our athletic programs. And last, I care less what some of you like what I post or not. So get used to it !

    • sput

      I think its great and I love him saying what he thinks and feels

  • Mustang Bullitt

    Not going to dignify many of the trolls and haters on here, but if you can see vast improvement from last year, then I don't know what you are watching!!

    You do realize we have 4 juniors that play 46% of our teams minutes, 2 sophomores that play 29%, and 3 freshman that account for 25%. And if that isn't enough please recall that only 5 players on this years team played for us last year!!

    Look out Big 12 next year!!

    Lets GOOO Mountaineers!!!!

  • tw eagle

    why would any one give the WVU basketball team any respect ? we who love the Mountaineers have seen the improvement in team play , and have seen them tough out a few games . . .RAH,RAH .. . .

    if Harris & and Mounties THINK that they should be respected by other teams - other than the warm-up games to start the season ,
    this WVU team is in TROUBLE . . . you guys need to put three or four SEASONS of competitive games together - NOT three games . . .

    • GoEers

      ok let's go back 4 seasons ago...wvu played in the final 4...3 season ago wvu made it to the second round where they had to face Kentucky for the second straight year...2 seasons ago they still made it to the ncaa tournament...last season was awful...coach huggins recognized it and fixed it for this season

      since you are a marshall fan troll, just tell me the last time marshall played in the ncaa tournament...I just showed you that wvu played in it in three of the past 4 years...I will be more than happy to go further back and show you the elite 8 or two sweet 16 seasons

      • tw eagle

        well , eers - responding to your idiocy is almost impossible due to accomplish with the advisement in effect - and I don't EVER use profanity . . . my guess is the craft here understand that my prose will be wasted on a bozo like you anyway . . .

        watch the games , cheer or jeer , and then return to your cell in the basement . . .may God be with your eternal soul . . . AMEN . . .

  • cutty77

    WVU has 4 Home games left,if we can win 3 out of the 4,then steal one on the Road will be fine. WVU needs to finish in The Top 4 of The Big 12 and we will go to The Big Dance. The Big 12 has The Number One RPI in The Country.

  • DWM

    WHat a fun team to watch and root for!

  • mad hatter

    we have 8 conf. games remaining in the reg season....realistically, we win 2, any other wins would be upsets.
    say we finish out 2-6,, leaving us for the yr. 16-15. would we consider this a big improvement over last yr?,,, say we win one and lose one in the tournie... so we're 17-16.
    is this impressive,,, if the glass is half full, it's an improvement over last yr and indicates we are going inthe right direction ,and huggie has righted the ship...we don't get invited to any post season, and we go home..
    i guess if you drink the kool aid, and believe in mediocrity, you would like this record...MY thoughts would be, how far we've fallen when we accept a 17-16 season, after all the tradition of wvu bb...I think we should examine how we got here, where we're headed and is this all there is?
    It's up to you sports fans, if this is good enough for you, so be it,, not me , not now , not in the future,,,we should never have gotten to this place and we should have the people accountable who put us there.

    • SamWvu304

      I'm pretty impressed with the team on the court myself.With what we had last season to Now! I see tons of improvements! Although the records are so close. Lets Goooo!!

    • Aaron

      That is a very astute analysis.

      For an average basketball mind.

      Anyone who knows the games can see the flaws in your analysis though.

      But hey, you keep plugging right along.

      • mad hatter

        well, let me know what's wrong with it,,,
        yes ,we may be improving, and then maybe not...
        the next 8 games will tell the tale,
        at best , we go 3-5. thats the very best, imo...
        i like these guys, i like williams and watkins to improve greatly over the next two yrs. and two yrs from now, we should be pretty good provided huggie doesn't run some of them off , so we're young again

        • josh

          huh? i could swear i read a comment from mad hatter the other day that said with 9 games left we'll probably go 6 - 3, we beat oklahoma and now he is saying with 8 games left wvu will go 3 - 5 at best? im confused...

        • Aaron

          Your constant statements regarding mediocrity. There is nothing mediocre about this team of their Hall of Fame coach. If you understood the game of basketball you would know that.

          Instead, when they win, you "but" this team. That was a good win but...Staten played well but...Harris did this but...WV has 2 good players but...

          When they lose, you are as pessimistic and overbearing as the rest of those who aren't happy with Huggins and/or Luck.

          You claim to be a WVU fan but I'm sorry sir, I don't see it.

      • mad hatter

        flaws? u haven't a clue

        • The Wisetalker

          Anything over 13 wins is an improvement over last year...

          ...and that is not rocket science...

          • mad hatter

            so we win 14 games, and it's new year's eve... sad..

            you guys make me sick sometimes,,, mediocrity is your first , middle and last names.

          • Aaron

            I stand by my original statement Me. Average.

        • GoEers

          mad hatter you are by far the biggest deusche bag around...WVU is playing a string of 9 games against some of the best teams in the country...this isn't conference Usa you stupid jagoff

    • Half Full Glass

      ??????

    • Half Empty Glass

      ???????

    • Grant

      Considering our two best front court players are not eligible this year and will be next season and considering they are still playing better than last year's team, then yes, it is a HUGE improvement. Either you are a troll, don't know much about sports, or you are just a miserable person.

      • mad hatter

        so, how many times have you seen these two guys play,,, and who told you they were our best players,,, i think staten might have something to say about that,
        and if i remember correctly, huggins told us how great williams was, well , he has a future but right now he's playng like a freshman, and is no where as good as huggins said he would be , this yr.

    • joe

      you cant teach a retard so please shut up we are not accepting a mediocre season.You fail to realize we have no seniors 4 juniors 2 sophomores and 3 freshman and a total of 5 returning players from last year.Can you get that through your thick skull.Dumbass. PS so you are saying hold huggins accountable? Ok genious so you fire him then what? Who do you hire? Then watch all the great recruits leave, and we are back to square one.You obviously don't comprehend or understand sports management.

    • Mister Man

      Marshall has no chance of winning 17 games.

    • Mister Man

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mister Man

      That's funny.

    • Mister Man

      LOL!!!!

    • Mister Man

      LOL again!!!!!!!!!!

      • Alex

        The last time I heard in the medical world there was no VACCINE for stupidity or idiot..

    • brent

      What tradition at wvu? We never had tradition

  • Bob

    Commit to boxing out every shot(every shot). Do not take plays off defensively. Exercise patience on the offensive side. Play with enthusiasm. We got it going....keep it going.
    Let's go...........................Mountaineers.

    Bob,
    Denton, Texas

  • Craig

    I was in San Francisco last month and stumbled into what happened to be a Kansas Alumni Bball watching party. I went up to the organizer and introduced myself as a WVU Alumni. I went on to say I hope to one day go to Phog and watch a game. He said I should, it is an amazing atmosphere, but to make sure I go for a conference game. I looked at him and said of course, I would go and watch the Mountaineers. He looked at me puzzled and I said, you know we have been in your conference for two years now.... He then kinda blew me off. I don't think they have much respect for any other team, too busy with their noses in the air. Make Us Proud Boys and make those Jay Hawks remember who we are.

    • Jay hawknkc

      View from KC is no one is overlooking WVU. They are hot and beating good teams. And I've never heard anyone say they are trash .?? Where did that come from Harris?

      The locals radio jocks in KC stress they have to find a way to slow down Harris and our prerimeter D hasn't been the best. KU will be trying to win the paint as that is their strength. Should be fun.

      • cutty77

        Over the last 2 years i have met alot of Big 12 Fans,from every school. They are The Most Classy people in have ever run into. There is no comparison between The Big East and Big 12. To get Respect you have to show Respect. We are very lucky to be in The Big 12. I like Eron Harris alot,but he needs to shut up. Not very smart comment just before we play The Jay Hawks at Home i might add. They waste youth on the young.