West Virginia women’s basketball coach Mike Carey was visibly disappointed and confused after his team’s 73-49 home loss to Oklahoma. Their “no energy” performance was something he says he hadn’t seen in a long time — the Mountaineers shot 23.7 percent from the floor, made just one three-pointer in 13 tries, gave up the ball 18 times, and played lackluster defense en route to the defeat.
“I’m about to have to take about 10 blood pressure medicines for tomorrow’s practice and I’m going to have to have an ambulance and a doctor ready for me at practice tomorrow when I go over film,” he said after the game.
About a day later, he’s had some time to look at the film and process the loss. Still, he hasn’t figured out exactly what got into his team.
“We need to watch film, players need to watch film. We need to see what went wrong,” he said. “I don’t know why there wasn’t energy, I really don’t know why. There wasn’t ball movement, and it wasn’t urgent to them to defend. That’s some thing we don’t usually see here, but we saw it last night.”
As is the status quo for Big 12 basketball, there’s no rest for the Mountaineers. Next up, they’re facing the defending national champion and second-ranked Baylor Bears in Waco.
The Bears are the top of the conference in nearly every statistical category, including scoring, scoring defense, field goal percentage and more. They beat teams by an average of 38.93 points per game — far out-classing their average winning margin of 26 points from their championship run a year ago.
Carey even says he believes these Bears are better than their championship squad, praising their increased depth.
“I think they’re a very good team and we’ll have our hands full,” he said.
Having faced — and beaten — multiple ranked teams at this point in the season, they have proven they can compete. This team, though, will obviously pose some unique and steep challenges that they likely haven’t seen yet.
“It’s gonna be a tough game especially coming off of [the Oklahoma loss], but we’ll see how much heart we have,” Carey added.
He may not have had many positives (if any) to be said about his team after their loss. Moving forward is essential, though, and he says that his Mountaineers may already be better suited to face Baylor than other teams.
“I don’t think any of our players will be scared of playing Baylor,” he said. That’s one thing — some teams are beat before they even go in there, but our team will go in there and compete.”