Saturday, December 06, 2008
It's not hard to understand why Bob Huggins wasn't happy with the performance today looking at the box score. But it was a win against a better team than you would expect with a name like Cleveland St., 53-43.
West Virginia was without starting point guard, Joe Mazzulla, shot 34% from the field, and 12% from 3 point range. They also had 11 turnovers in the first half. The good news is they finished the game with 14 turnovers and actually shot 71% from the free throw line. Since the game wasn't on TV, I can't tell you how well the defense looked today, but it had to be decent since they forced 20 turnovers and held Cleveland St. to 33% shooting from the field.
In his post-game comments, Huggins apologized to the crowd for having to watch such a poor game. He also sent a message to the pouters on the bench, "if you're going to pout on the bench when I take you out, I have no use for you." I don't know who he was talking about, but I would expect to see a fired up team this Tuesday night when West Virginia meets #24 Davidson at the Garden. Huggins also apologized for not practicing the team as hard as he should have. Another reason to expect a sharp Mountaineer team Tuesday. Huggins generally sounded like a coach that has let a lot of things go and has had enough with the excuses.
There were bright spots today, though. Besides the better than average free throw shooting, Devan Ebanks and Da'Sean Butler had solid games. Ebanks had the most rebounds in a game, 17, since 1977. He also added 10 points. Butler lead all scorers with 18 points. Alex Ruoff handled the point guard duties for most of the game and was limited to just four shots.