Why Does WVU Shoot So Poorly? - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Why Does WVU Shoot So Poorly?

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MORGANTOWN -

Coaches can put their players in position to score, but ultimately it is the players who have to put the ball through the hoop. The West Virginia University men's basketball team has struggled to do that throughout the entire season.

WVU is among the nation's worst in many shooting statistics. The Mountaineers rank No. 294 out of 347 schools shooting 40.5 percent from the field. They are No. 295 out of 347 shooting 31 percent from three-point range.

So, why does this team struggle to make shots?

"We don't get easy buckets like other teams get to disguise the fact that maybe we can't score," Guard Matt Humphrey said. "We're not making wide open shots. We are not capitalizing on mistakes. We have a lot of turnover-turnover plays meaning whenever a team turns it over, we turn it over when we should score."

Turnovers do hurt the Mountaineers. West Virginia has turned it over an average of 13 times per game this season. Many of those become live-ball turnovers, meaning the ball is kept in play. Typically those turnovers lead to fast breaks and easy buckets.

The offense rarely looks smooth. Even something this team does for hours upon hours throughout the week like running the motion offense looks confusing for the players.

"We can't run a set because I have guys that have been here going on two years that don't know what they are doing," Head Coach Bob Huggins said. "It's totally inexcusable. I can't call a set unless I have certain guys on the floor that know what they are doing. If I make a substitution, we can't run a set because we are going to have one guy who stands where he is not supposed to stand and screw it all up."

Huggins is in a place he has rarely been. He appears defeated following losses and is clearly frustrated by the lack of ability to get this team to do what he wants it to do.

"I have always taken a lot of pride in the fact that I could get guys to play hard and I could get guys to compete," Huggins stated. "People didn't like playing against us. We played so hard and we competed so hard. We tried to rebound the ball every time. For some reason I haven't been able to reach these guys."

Understanding where they are supposed to be and when is one thing. Making open shots when the opportunity presents itself is entirely different.

"Anybody on this team should be able to step into a wide-open jump shot or run the floor and finish a layup or make a correct pass without it getting deflected," Humphrey said. "We make a lot of mental mistakes that hinder us from taking care of business."

WVU is three years removed from the Final Four. Huggins has led the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his five seasons as WVU Head Coach. That streak appears to be ending.

WVU is 13-14 overall and 6-8 in the Big 12. The Mountaineers may not even qualify for the NIT Tournament.

Nobody saw this season going this way. WVU was picked to finish sixth in the Big 12. Many questioned that wondering how a team that returned so many players could finish that low in the standings.

Huggins has said repeatedly that he did not see this lack of success coming. He also follows that up with a firm four-word phrase, "I will fix it."

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