Easy Baskets Once Again Kill Mountaineers - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Easy Baskets Once Again Kill Mountaineers


West Virginia University Head Coach Bob Huggins is accustomed to having his teams play hard on defense making scoring for the opponent a difficult task. That has not been the case this year as WVU has consistently given up easy baskets.

Kansas was the latest to score with dunks and alley-oops. The Jayhawks tallied eight dunks and seven lay-ups against the Mountaineers. That alone accounted for 30 of Kansas' 91 points, the most scored against WVU this season.

"Of course it's tough," WVU Freshman Guard Terry Henderson said of Kansas' easy opportunities, "They're an experienced team. They've been playing for a long time, and so when they see opportunities for three-on-ones, two-on-ones, of course they're going to look for the alley oop."

"I think we've got to play better team defense," Freshman Guard Eron Harris said following the 91-65 loss. "You shouldn't always have to defend a person by yourself. You've got a team, and we've got to talk. If you get screened, you know, it's not a perfect world. We can't always beat screens. You've got to help out a little bit."

Kansas was led by a one-man wrecking crew in the form of freshman Ben McLemore. He scored 36 points. No matter what the Mountaineers tried to do to stop him, no WVU player was successful at containing him.

"I mean, he's a great player, a pretty good freshman, a great shooting guard," Henderson said of McLemore. "When you give somebody like that open looks, you might as well turn it into three points. That's one of the things we worked on, trying not to give him open looks. We wanted to make him uncomfortable, make the whole team uncomfortable, everybody from one through five, but that's something we didn't do tonight."

Since the Mountaineers could not stop McLemore it would have helped to slow down Kansas Center Jeff Withey. He also went on to have a career day and nearly a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks against West Virginia.

"He makes it hard for everybody to score around the basket," Huggins said about Withey. "He is the best shot blocker in the country."

WVU has two regular season games remaining before its opening contest in the Big 12 Tournament. Time is running out for this team to build any kind of momentum heading into the tournament.

"We're going to go through trials, and this is a big learning thing for me," Harris said. "I'm not saying the season is over at all. We've still got games to go. I'm not saying it's over, but this is just a big learning experience for me. Next year, I'll know how to fix things, and I'll be more of a leader and move into that role. I'll make sure next year that a lot of these things aren't happening."

"We're going to keep playing hard," Henderson stated. "We're going to keep getting better and continuing to work on new things, especially for next year. That's the main thing, because we're not going to stop playing hard. We're going to keep playing until the season is over, until after the conference tournament. We still have the conference tournament, and you never know. We could go on a run in the conference tournament, win that and be in the NCAA [Tournament]."

Right now there is no reason to believe this team will get hot enough to win four games in four straight days at the Big 12 tournament. WVU has not won four games in a row all season. Stranger things have happened and the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament that goes with winning a conference tournament is the only hope for the Mountaineers at this point.

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