WVU Players Appear To Be Listening To Huggins - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Players Appear To Be Listening To Huggins


West Virginia University players were available to meet with the media prior to Tuesday's practice. Typically there may be one or two players on the court warming up or putting up a few shots.

Nearly the entire team was already on the floor with about 30 minutes to go until the start of practice on Tuesday.

When asked about the sudden surge in pre-practice participation, Head Coach Bob Huggins said that was the case since the loss to Michigan.

"They have been since whenever we came back, they have been here," Huggins stated. "We were making shots in practice, we just weren't making any in the game. We shot it really well yesterday."

The Mountaineers are in a tough spot. West Virginia is 4-5 overall with just three non-conference games remaining before the Big 12 opener against Oklahoma.

WVU lost to then No. 3 Michigan 81-66 last weekend, which prompted Huggins to vent some of his frustration with his team after the game.

"I'm sick of it," Huggins stated following the loss. "I'm sick of it. I'm sick of watching guys stand around. I'm sick of watching guys not compete. I'm sick of guys missing shot after shot after shot, but not ever coming early and never staying late and don't think about coming in on an off day and then tell me they care. I haven't had guys like that before."

His words apparently did not fall on deaf ears. The response from the team to get in the gym before practice Monday and Tuesday in large numbers shows they do care.

"This is optional," WVU Forward Deniz Kilicli said. "If somebody doesn't want to do it, they don't have to. There's Voldy jumping rope, Juwan and them shooting the ball and we're trying to get some pads over here. That's what we need to work on."

Kilicli and his teammates clearly realize that Huggins is right and some extra time in the gym cannot hurt.

"We are trying to do something about it," Kilicli stated. "The low percentage that we shoot we got to get higher if we want to be a good team. The only thing you can do is work on it more, so that is what we are doing."

Kilicli is certainly having his problems around the rim. The typically sure-handed hook shot is not falling. Add into that the fact that Kilicli has also missed some one and two-foot shots recently.

"It's a time period right now where I don't shoot well," Kilicli said. "That's the only reason I go into the game is to shoot the ball. In three years I have never shot the ball worse than this in a three or four game period. It will get better. I'm going to continue to work on it. I've been here for an hour and 15 minutes already. That is all I can do and we will see what is going to happen."

Kilicli was named the MVP of the Capital Classic after scoring 21 points against Marshall. He has made just four of 15 shots from the field in the three games played since.

The entire team is not shooting the ball as well as it can. WVU has shot just 35 percent from the field in that same time span. That includes shooting just 26 percent from three-point range in the same stretch.

WVU hosts Oakland Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 9 o'clock. It will be the Mountaineers first opportunity to see if the results during the game mirror the extra time they put in both before and after practice.

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