WVU Still Learning To Play Together - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Still Learning To Play Together

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ORLANDO, Fla. -

The West Virginia University men's basketball team is still learning how to play with each other. The lineups you see throughout a game typically include at least one new player from the roster WVU fielded a year ago.

Transfer Aaric Murray hardly practiced a year ago while sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules following a broken hand early in the season.

Transfer Matt Humphrey did not actually transfer to WVU until the summer and also had to learn the system in a short period of time.

Transfer Juwan Staten did practice throughout the past season with the Mountaineers and that experience is showing on the floor early this season.

Add a pair of freshmen in Terry Henderson and Eron Harris and that is five players who typically see playing time that were not on the floor for WVU at all a year ago.

"We got to get better," Senior Forward Deniz Kilicli said. "We got to practice (tomorrow) and get yelled at for three hours and see how that helps us, and then we are going to go play."

Through three games, the inexperience of playing together in game situations is showing. One game WVU was blown out, one game WVU blew out an opponent and in the third game WVU lost a tight one.

"We don't have great players here," Head Coach Bob Huggins stated. "We have some guys who can do some things. Individually we are not very good, but collectively we could be pretty good. We got to get them to buy into collectively."

Huggins feels he has the horses to win a lot of games this season, but only if those horses work together. That means players have to stay within their roles.

One of the true freshmen has already earned an important role on this team. WVU trailed Davidson 63-60 with just seconds remaining in the game. Huggins designed a play with Juwan Staten bringing the ball up. He put Gary Browne on one wing with freshman Terry Henderson on the other wing. Henderson was Staten's primary target. Davidson denied him a shot, so he passed back to Staten who eventually just missed tying the game at the buzzer.

"We don't really care if he is a freshman or a senior," Staten said. "If he is making shots then we are going to go to him for shots. That could have been anybody. It was depending on whose man helped and, which way Turk set the screen. If he would have set the screen the other way, I would have gone towards Gary's side."

West Virginia will get a chance to see a Big 12 opponent on Sunday when the Mountaineers take on Oklahoma. This game will count as a non-conference game. West Virginia and Oklahoma will play two more times this season.

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