WVU Sports with Mike Casazza

Don’t shoot the shooter

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I think we can have a look at, have a discussion about and even have some fun with what Eron Harris said Tuesday night, his message born out of the frustration of another loss and a five-point half under the stranglehold of a defense after an 18-point half under the bright lights of the Coliseum.

But the Mamba did say this:

“You’ve got Kobe. What do they do? They screen for Kobe,” Harris said. “I’m not saying I’m Kobe, but I feel like I had a good enough half to be an option in the second half.”

I like the part where he assured us he’s not Kobe … but I also liked the idea. He is this team’s Kevin Jones, Da’Sean Butler and Joe Alexander. He is from where the points come and he’s the guys his teammates have to go to when a 10-point lead over a ranked team is getting away at home or on the road.

The Kobe thing is going to jump off the page, of course, and there’s going to be a numb skull faction who thinks Harris was whiny and selfish and needs to be disciplined because he needs to keep that behind closed doors. Me? I don’t see a lot of difference between what he says in the video above, what he says in the Kobe quote or what he said later. —–>~ “Everyone’s going to try to take me out of the offense. That doesn’t mean I just don’t get the ball.”

He’s right. He’s not wrong to say it. I’ve always thought part of Harris’ frustrations last season came from wanting to say and do things, but also deferring to or hesitating due to his freshman status. He’s not going to do that again, and I think it’s fair to say that Bob Huggins has been condoning and encouraging this personality trait.

“When you are like Terry, sometimes being a great guy in sports is not a good thing,” he said. “You put too many things on yourself; you think too much; you care too much. The guys who are really great scorers, they’ll miss 10 and think they’re going to make the next 10 … and probably will. Terry is not that way.

“Eron is more that way than Terry is. Eron is a great guy, too, but he doesn’t have the conscience that Terry does.”

This is not to say Huggins wants one player blowing up his teammates, but, again, this is not that. And here’s why I think that way: Harris’ teammates completely agreed with him.

After the game, Kevin Noreen told me, “We have to have the mindset where if he’s got the hot hand, we’ve got to get him the ball somehow. I actually heard one of their assistant coaches say we didn’t share the ball enough. I think that’s a sign we didn’t find him when we needed to.”

Isolated opinion? Response to a specific question? Maybe, except it was part of a chorus.