MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The team with the worst statistical defense in the Big 12 lived down to expectations Saturday, and West Virginia coach Bob Huggins wasn’t happy about it.

He watched Baylor shoot 54 percent for the game and pile up 52 second-half points while handing the Mountaineers an 88-75 loss that deflates for the moment any talk of this team being NCAA tournament-worthy.

“The frustrating thing is they scored every time down the floor,” Huggins said. “It has been a steady diet of that.”

After Texas shot 57 percent while also scoring 88 points in West Virginia’s previous game, Huggins’ team entered the day allowing 44-percent shooting on the season—worst in the conference.

Isaiah Austin had eight baskets, including six in the paint, on his way to 19 points. As Baylor took control in the second half, the 7-footer easily caught the ball isolated in the post and turned it into points.

“I’ve always found that the best way for a guy not to score on you is not to let them catch it,” Huggins said. “I didn’t see us in front of them.”

Still, Austin’s output didn’t seem to irk Huggins as much as what the unheralded Royce O’Neale produced. The 6-foot-6 junior poured in a career-high 22 points—16 above his average—by making all eight of his shots, including four at point-blank range and four more on open 3-point looks.

“How about Royce O’Neale,” Huggins said. “He was only 8-for-8. He hasn’t made shots like that all year.”

Baylor enjoyed a 38-12 scoring advantage in the paint and committed only four turnovers as WVU’s defense failed to pressure the ball.

“We’re not ever going to get back to where we are until we guard again,” said Huggins. “How the hell are you going to give up 88 points and think you’re guarding somebody?”

WHOA’NEALE
Baylor coach Scott Drew chuckled out loud when asked if he foresaw such a big performance from O’Neale, the University of Denver transfer who had only one double-figure scoring game in his last 19 outings.

“You always see the best in your players, but you know they’re not normally going to go 8-for-8,” Drew said. “Normally we would expect them to go probably 7-for-8.”

O’Neale scored 22 points once in WAC game but hadn’t approached anything so noisy during his debut season in the Big 12. He was only 7-of-21 from 3-point range in his first 13 league games before going 4-for-4 at WVU.

“We were just moving the ball, getting each other touches and open shots,” he said.

bubble graphic

77

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Jdl

    For Huggins defenders: WVU is .500 over last three seasons...defend that! He has been here 7 seasons. Program is adrift

    • Aaron

      So are you going to fire him or give him one more year?

      • Jdl

        If it were up to me, I would replace him.

        • Aaron

          I'm pretty sure there is an Assistant Athletic Director position available. Perhaps you should should apply.

          Or maybe you should lobby the Governor for a seat on the Board of Governors and begin your campaign from that avenue.

        • GoEers

          Sure you would JDL...you are a Marshall fan and Marshall hasn't been to the NCAA tourney in 26 years...you definitely don't want bob Huggins to coach WVU as he has lead them to 5 straight NCAA tourneys in 6 years...you want him gone in the hopes that the program ends up in shambles kinda like how Marshall's program has been for 26 straight years!! lol!!

      • william

        If you have a head coach with CLASS, GREAT CHARACTER, then you have a winner!
        Look at "Sweatsuit" Huggins -
        What type of guy is HUGGINS?
        He has taken WVU to a all time low.
        How bad does it need to get before this terrible coach is FIRED?
        Get use to losing WVU fans.
        ITS A VERY SAD TIME TO BE A MOUNTAINEER FAN WHEREVER OU MAY BE
        And yes,
        I'M LOVIN' IT

        • Aaron

          Would you consider the coaches at Syracuse and Duke as winners?

          • TruthTeller

            Actually I would consider them good coaches but a lot of their wins come from the refs calling
            the game in their favor most of the time. Duke gets 85 percent of its points from the foul line.

      • WILLIAM

        The only thing "Sweatsuit" loves about WV is the MONEY!
        Huggins make over $10,000.00 dollars a day and that's 7 days a week for a part time job and coaching kids game!
        that's 70,000.00 dollars a week!
        What a joke, but I will never give WVU a dime of my money!
        $70,000.00 EVERY WEEK, HOW MANY OF YOU WVU FANS MAKE THAT KIND OF MONEY?

      • Big Larry

        Aaron,

        Give it a rest...Every other of these 53 comments are yours...

        We get it...

        • GoEers

          Hey Larry Jefferds go away you troll....hahaha Larry Jefferds the loser...hahahah

          • Big Larry

            Sorry Aaron, I mean GoEers, I mean Steve, I mean Troll, I mean Shawn, I mean...

            Can't you decide who you want to be?

            What a Joke you are...

          • GoEers

            Hi Larry Jefferds...I'm just GOEers...if you want to talk to any of those other posters that you mention, then feel free to address them when they post.

            This is just between you and me Larry Jefferds you no good filthy disgusting jealous Marshall troll.

            You've been kicked off multiple sites for being a dirty troll. The joke is on you big Larry Jefferds/Lawrence Tomas/wisetalker

        • rtdeco

          aaron is a breath of fresh air..."give it rest"...really when all you and your ilk do is slime wvu....why dont you "give it rest" and take the rest of the trash out when you leave.

          • The Wisetalker

            Taking up for a WVU paid Troll?

            Interesting...

    • GoEers

      5 NCAA tourneys the past 6 seasons...one conference championship...a final four and a sweet 16

      Not to mention the fact that he is taking a team full of freshman and sophomores and navigating them to a winning record on the toughest conference in America.

      The future looks bright!

      Let's go mountaineers!!

  • richard

    hey barry, get your facts straight. they didn't transfer on their own. huggins pushed them out because they had attitude problems, didn't want to listen or were "me" players. people get on here and say the dumbest things. they are just huggin haters or WVU haters, who like to cut down the program. makes me sick.

    • Barry

      Just keep repeating that when more transfer out after this year. I watched Pepper go through the same thing with Huggins. Now if Watkins (a player that shows alot of potential) transfers who could blame him?

  • Aaron

    For those who make asinine comments about Huggins treatment of officials, watch the end of the Syracuse/Duke game.

    • Barry

      I don't care about Syracuse or Duke. I care about WVU. I care about this state and how we are represented.

      • Aaron

        I think your concern is more of an obsession with Coach Huggins then it is a concern with WVU and the state, particularly when the notion from outside is that Huggins is a great coach and he represents the state and the institution in a positive manner.

      • GoEers

        Barry you are a Marshall fan that only cares about WVU losing so you can come on here and pose as a concerned WVU fan. At the end ofJanuary you predicted WVU would only win 2 more games. They've won 4 and have played a tough schedule. You and all of the other Marshall trolls don't understand big time college basketball because you are fans of a school that has never won an NCAA tourney game. You are as big of a loser as the team that you are actually a fan of.

  • Dennis

    The bubble has burst, let us see if this team can hold onto a NIT berth.

  • Aaron

    How miserable must one be to watch something they obviously hate as much as they do?

    I went to the game today and other than the final score, had a great time with my youngest son. One of the most enjoyable things about attending in person is that you can see just how much coaching actually goes into the game by not only Huggs but his staff as well.

    Win or lose with HOF'er Huggins at the helm, WV basketball is certainly enjoyable. We're it not, with so many other things to do in life, I wouldn't set around miserable praying the team loses so I can run to mom's basement and trash the coach and team.

    It's a GREAT DAY to be a MOUNTAINEER.

    • Aaron

      I will also add that the halftime ceremony in which players from 6 decades returned to Morgantown was great. Dozens of former players, coaches and others who are a part of the WVU program know it's always a GREAT DAY to be a MOUNTAINEER!!!!!

      Let's go....

    • Barry

      If you went to the game with your son then why were there like 20 comments posted on this site during the game? If you were there, watch the game and enjoy your son.

      Ha, mom's basement. There it is. What about Marshall Trolls and they are on welfare?

      • Aaron

        We discussed the post during the game. Unlike most of you guys, he's a pretty bright young man and concurred with my post.

        He's also met Coach Huggins, is aware of a lot of the stuff that happens behind the scenes and immensely respectful of the coach.

        He's also read many of the comments on here and as a psychology major on course to graduate with honors, he had some interesting insights on many of the posters, which we discussed over dinner late last night.

        The word 'nuts' came up a lot.

    • Barry

      How miserable must one be to watch someone that is obviously a mean spirited jerk and still cheer what a great guy he is?

      Watch the video one more time and tell me, who would want to play for this guy?

      • Aaron

        Why do you continue to watch?

        • william

          HUGGINS IS A BIG MESS!
          WHAT A CLASS ACT HE IS

        • Aaron

          Your obsession seems unhealthy to me. I'm almost afraid to ask but s it strictly platonic?

  • Bob

    Just don't think situation will change next year with two academically challenged Bigs and two 6'2" guards who have signed with WVU.

    • Aaron

      How is Holton academically challenged?

      • Bob

        I guess you must know more about his school work than I do - sorry

        • Aaron

          He's not setting out because of academics, he's setting out because he transferred from a D-1 school to a Junior College and then back to a D-1 school without obtaining his degree from the Junior College.

          Had he went to the JC first, he wouldn't have had to get his degree, he could have transferred his hours and been immediately eligible.

          As he went the route he did, the NCAA requires he obtain his degree or else he has to set a year. It keeps kids from going to JC for one semester and avoiding the transfer rule.

          Holton's grade were fine but he didn't get the degree thus he has to set out a year, as if he were transferring from a D-1 school. On a positive note, he's been practicing all season with the team and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

          • wvrefugee

            You're right, ok, let's just say he's Character challenged!

          • Aaron

            Can you specifically elaborate just what it is about this young man’s character that you find so challenging or are your comments based solely on your obsession with Coach Huggins?

          • william

            I never want to see HOLTON wear a WVU uniform!
            He is not the type of person I would ever go watch play, his RECORD says it all
            HOLTON STAY FAR AWAY FROM WVU AND TAKE ALL YOUR BAGGAGE WITH YOU!
            How old will he be when it he plays?
            28 or 29 lol

          • Aaron

            We know William, you want him in Kelly Green. Does your obsession with Coach Huggins originate from the hope that he would rescue Marshall in 2005 and now your petty jealously can't let it go or is your fixation more than platonic?

  • pghmountaineer

    Looks like TCU is our only chance for a win the rest of the seson.
    I guess it's time to think about spring ball. Bummer!

    • Steve

      Hey pghmountaineer, on jan. 24 you posted that WVU wouldn't win more than 2 games. I commented on your post by betting you $1000.00 that WVU would win more than 2 and set the over/under at 2.5 wins.

      WVU has won 4 games since then. Where's my money?

  • Troll

    Couldn't agree with you more coach, as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. At some point the players have to accept responsiblity for their lack of effort.

    • Mike

      And Huggins has to accept responsibility for the state of the program due to HIS recruiting, or lack of!

      • Wenkev

        Good statement from somebody who absolutely has no idea what they are talking about. WV beat the same Baylor team AT BAYLOR just a few weeks ago. Has nothing to do with recruiting, has to do with player effort and execution!!

      • Aaron

        If you read his comments or listen to the Coach, you know he takes complete responsibility for his program.

        He just doesn't answer to internet posters like us, which doesn't bother me in the least but then I'm not obsessed with the Coach.

    • Aaron

      I was at the game and I stated on another thread that when haters boy Dibo was pulled in the first half, I didn't think we would see him again. Huggins stopped him and from across the court, you could see coach asking him why he didn't front Austin.

      Dibo played less than 4 minutes in the second half.

  • Barry

    Throw em under the bus Eeyore. Throw em under the bus.

    Isn't he delightful? I can't imagine why we had 5 transfers in one year.

    Same bull he said last year, over and over and over. I don't think he is commited.

  • tw eagle

    it looked like Baylor arrived in Morgantown with a game plan that worked , and very well at that . . .

    Baylor spread the floor , and forced the WVU big men to try & stop their Baylor counterparts one on one . . . the Baylor bigs being bigger , faster , and a bit more athletic just wore down the Mounties around the basket . . . by the second media TO the Mounties were pretty much out of gas . . .

    and having O'neele shoot the lights out just HAPPENS every now & then . . . what are you gonna do , throw a folding chair at him while he moves on the court and hope you break his leg ( I mean concentration) .. . .

    SO , coach Huggins had to make some choices with Henderson out & Watkins barely seeing time . . . stay man to man & deny the known 3 shooter , or switch to a zone that will save your troops a lot of energy - but possibly leave the 3 guy wide open . . . 2-1-2 ? diamond & 1 ? staying in man D let the Bears "cut the legs off" the Mounties . . .

    this Mountie team worked hard today & deserved a better fate than they received . . .sometimes I wonder how coach Huggins ever won so many games . . .

    • Aaron

      I was at the game and I didn't see anyone worn down until the final few minutes when Eron Harris ran out of gas. Given that he ran his butt off on both ends of the floor though, I think it was understandable.

      I did see Adrian and Dibo constantly allow Austin catch the ball and then refuse to body up on him and instead, giving him free reign 2 feet from the basket.

      • tw eagle

        just like everybody , you're entitled to your opinion ...

        Aaron, by chance , did you happen to tape the game too? and if you did, find a stop watch, and track the end to end of the WVU forwards by media segments. What you might have overlooked being "in the moment", will play out for you tick-tick-tick ...

        • Aaron

          It's odd that you would see that on TV. As most producers like to keep the camera on the ball.

          • tw eqagle

            if all you ever do is follow the ball or the puck you miss most of what wins &loses games in team sports . . . you don't have to have a camera directly on a player(S) to chart the pace of games. . . attending Mountaineer games in person makes it difficult to harder to analyze because I'm usually emotionally involved in the action . . .so aaron, not sure how much datum your brain can absorb & process , but tune back your concentration on the object piece AND spread your senses out to be able to take in peripheral action that has a direct effect on the play & ultimate outcome of the contest . . .

          • Aaron

            Perhaps you were emotionally involved because your observation is inaccurate.

    • bball fan

      The same thing happened in the K-State and Oklahoma games at home but survived and won. WVU's bigs can not guard a ball screen and got shredded in the second half of all 3 games. You would think Coach Huggins would try something different when it is so easy to score on WVU. Switch defenses or something but he is way to stubborn to do that. Making adjustments is what coaching is Scott Drew did at halftime to a tune of 52 points. Coach Huggins played man to man the whole 2nd half no adjustments. Plus WVU had a whole week to prepare for Baylor and that preparation yielded 88 points and a 13 point defeat at home.

  • jay zoom

    until this clown recruits a true center WVU will be a cellar dweller for years to come. you cannot win games with two or three players who want to play ball. I actually watched the whole game (stupid me). I seen Dibo on the bench looking up and down the court as if he was lost and on the court it showed as well. if Henderson was playing it might (a big might) of made a difference. but I doubt it. until you start scoring in the paint this team can forget it. I really do not think DIBO and a couple of others would start for one of the top 3 high school teams in the state and that's sad to say. maybe if were lucky we will make it to the state high school tournament as a #8 seed. once again THANKS OLLIE big men help win games WVU does not have any and the only thing on the court that's big is Huggins mid section. at the end of the season we will go to the locker room saying wait until next year but I doubt that will ever and we will be saying that for years to come as long as were in the Big 12. You die hards can thank that worthless LUCK for that.

  • Jdl

    Huggins is responsible for this disaster. His recruits, his player development, his progrAm. What a grease fire. Time to let Bob belly up to the bar....permanently. .500 over the last three seasons....unacceptable

    • Jon Davis

      Where were u clowns who hate this program so much when gale catlett ran this program in the ground for 20 years Hall if fame huggs will
      Have the national championship here before he leaves. Mark it down and who gives a rats butt if huggs is heavy???? Who cares sounds like high school
      Kids calling people names.

  • jack

    Total breakdown with defense. Big men are not aggressive and often get caught watching instead of playing. When they get down on the scoreboard, it seems like they give up. I know they are young, but you should improve as the season goes along.

  • pghmountaineer

    One more point, you do need to recruit players who at least have a basketball IQ and a commitment to get better.
    We're just reaping what we've sown when it comes to the last several years of our recruits.

  • pghmountaineer

    No matter what you say, we just don't have enough players to play the whole season. Sure, you can steal a game here and there, but as Huggs has always said, this is a marathon, and the lack of good players will catch up with you.
    We don't have enough of them. And worst of all, our bigs just don't match up.
    It is what it is.

    • Mike

      Nailed it again. It is what it is. It isn't the team, it's the program...over the last 4 years. How many recruits busted or left for some reason. Heck, you need more than 10 fingers to count them all up. It's not the coaching Huggins, it's your recruiting...get some big dudes that can play at the same time you have some perimeter shooters! Duh.