WVU Gameday Blog

WVU v. TCU: Follow these orders


You are looking live at a wall inside the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, where WVU and TCU tangle at 4 p.m. Could be fun! TCU plays some 2-3 zone. I see you working, Horned Frogs.

You might have suspected this already if you didn’t hear it last night, but …

I’ll get into that a little bit more later in the blog. Your big news right now is that Eron Harris is working through the flu and probably won’t start today.

Oh, speaking of blog, what rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs?

Two things I’m following here today:

1) How does WVU deal with TCU’s size?

WVU hasn’t seen a lot of size and hasn’t dealt well with the size it’s seen (The Moving Screen for Gonzaga, Frank Kaminsky for Wisconsin, even B.J. Hammons for Purdue). I thought Noreen did a pretty good job keeping William & Mary’s players away from the basket, which helped swing that game, even if it was a game that didn’t quite necessitate a swing. Devin Williams and Brandon Watkins are going to have to have big games inside dealing with TCU’s Karviar Shepherd, Amric Fields and Brandon Parrish.

I asked Bob Huggins about this the other day and wondered where his team was in relation to being able to guard big players. He responded that thought tall, the TCU task wasn’t too much because Shepherd and Parrish are freshmen — and I should mention that because of injuries Fields has played eight games these past two seasons.

It takes time to learn to play big both as a player and as a team. That’s not a bad point by Huggins, except that Williams and Watkins are also freshmen.

2) This is Terry Henderson’s kind of game.

I think your obvious X Factor today is Terry Henderson. He had no rebounds against Purdue — and he’s had a zero-point game already this year, too … weird season. With that Purdue game as the impetus, he went inside quite a bit against W&M and had his best game of the season with 19 points (just one 3-pointer) and four rebounds (two were on offense, and he posted up some).

He’d be the guy to start for Harris, if that does indeed happen, and absorb whatever minutes are drained from Harris’ reserve, but he has to help rebound and he has to get close with drives and where he catches the ball because TCU’s guards are kind of small and Henderson is not.

This is something Henderson and Huggins have been talking about, and you saw some of it against W&M. Today is a day when it has to become a thing, right? But if he needs to shoot, well, he he was 3-for-4 from 3-point range and had 17 points here last year and said Thursday he was looking forward to getting back on this court.

He hasn’t forgotten his spots, either.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:50 pm

Just have to guard the 3-point line here and it’s over, along with a six-game road losing streak.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:50 pm

Nor do I guard the the invisible man that Parrish just threw it to.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:50 pm

If I’m WVU, I don’t guard this Gore fella.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:47 pm

THAT’S your play? You deserve to lose this one, TCU.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:46 pm

It’s 1-on-5 here and WVU is content with that.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:40 pm

Have to credit TCU for surviving eight possessions without Shepherd in the middle. WVU managed eight points, but three were on an Harris 3 early in the possession. Seven other possessions saw WVU try to get inside with a post up or a drive or a set. That netted five points, with three coming on free throws when Staten was fouled driving. Harris scored on an ugly post up that could have been called a travel.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:37 pm

TCU 4-for-10 at the foul line when this game is tight.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:37 pm

Then again, Dibo couldn’t stay in front of the back of his jersey.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:37 pm

Not in the scouting report: 21 will put theball on the floor and drive.

I promise you that.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:35 pm

Henderson has 10 and 7.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:34 pm

Man, Anderson fouls out on a call that should have gone to, I think, Carter. That hurts TCU’s chances here with 6:25 to go.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:33 pm

Once in eight possessions WVU didn’t go inside. It ends with a Harris 3 for a 63-58 lead.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:32 pm

Adrian wanted out. Huggins didn’t want to oblige. Dibo gets in.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:30 pm

Henderson is has missed 15 of his last 19 3-pointers, bu the way. Let’s not pretend that doesn’t have something to do with his sudden goal to go and to get inside.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:28 pm

Jump shots not in the offing for WVU and the six possessions have had the intent to go inside. Result: three points. TCU has six points in the same span.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:27 pm

I’ve never seen Harris post up before. Not sure I want to again. And as ugly as that was, he scored. And nearly knocked Noreen’s head off when Harris swung his arm angrily wanting a foul.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:26 pm

And Henderson misses an open 3. Can’t miss those.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:25 pm

Tried again with Henderson inside. Leads to a runout layup for Anderson. Oops.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:23 pm

That’s WVU’s intention now. Screen and roll to Noreen (!) broken up by Fields. And forgotten by an errant Browne 3. Eesh.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:20 pm

…Staten sees Anderson on him and no one in the middle. That’s going to be there if WVU wants it.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:19 pm

Smart play by Williams. Chose to drive on Shepherd, who ended up picking up his fourth foul and has to sit with 10:28 to go. He’s their inside defense and WVU has to know that and now attack or pour it inside.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:18 pm

Free throws, by the way. TCU already in the bonus, and that’s what TCU does.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:17 pm

Shepherd makes the box score!

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:13 pm

Not a very good run for Watkins there. Two fouls and a 1-for-2 at the free-throw line in place of slowed Williams.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:09 pm

Big difference for this TCU team, especially with young players and a healthy fields: They’re sued to winning (five in a row) and winning at home (also five in a row). That matters some here.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:08 pm

Trent crediting Hill for the foul on Williams … and Williams looks not well after that tumble.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:07 pm

Fan of the Blog Brandon Parrish ends the 3-point spell with a 3 on a set out of a timeout. Thought Harris could have done better on defense there.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:04 pm

And right here, with 14:58 left, WVU is starting to pull away with a 49-41 lead. WVU hasn’t looked bad once in this game, so that lull may be coming, but TCU hasn’t made a 3 in 14:51. The Mountaineers have guarded it much better, and a cameo by Remi Dibo, of all people, was a part of that.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:03 pm

And Henderson updates my other talking point. He’s a sneaky good rebounder when he wants to be.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:01 pm

This is the first time I’ve seen Fields live. I’ve seen highlights, but that’s different. He’s not a post player, despite things I’d read and been told. I mean, he can play low, but he’s much better flipping it around.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20145:00 pm

Updating my talking points…Shepherd is on the bench and he’s had no say in this game. That’s a check mark for WVU because Williams, Adrian and Watkins, though briefly for him, have been.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:59 pm

Whewie, Trent staring a hole through Bret Smith. He is not a fan.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:57 pm

It’s been a while since I saw these guys live, but I notice a more confidence Williams just in way he carries himself. But he’s also really good at getting opposite the ball on jump shots. That’s a fun little skill.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:56 pm

…like that.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:55 pm

We talked during the first half here that WVU has been way too patient at the basket. Williams goes up too slow there to score. A quick take is two easy points.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:54 pm

Welp, he’s not happy that it wasn’t a shooting foul … which it was. Not sure about these officials. DeRosa’d.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:54 pm

And Trent is working the officials. Not sure what would have happened if he didn’t get that call.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:52 pm

Harris looked fine tome in the first half … and he starts the second half.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:38 pm

Watkins did a wonderful job defensively on that last possession, and Noreen came off the bench to congratulate him on it after the buzzer. Jarvis had two good looks inside and Watkins altered both without a foul. In the inbound, Williams curled inside around a screen up top, but Watkins came off his player to contest the shot that Williams missed.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:35 pm

Hmm. Staten was running after that turnover and made a layup with 41.7 seconds left … but Huggins called his first-half timeout (which he almost always does on his last possession if he hasn’t used one yet, or else he loses it).

Staten scored, then jumped up and down. Huggins stared at Staten as Staten walked back to the timeout.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:33 pm

Not a good defensive team for TCU on the floor here. Not guarding or chasing and WVU is picking it apart.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:32 pm

Similarly on that charge/block rule, that’s a block in 2014. Williams was moving and a second defender came over and blocked the path.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:24 pm

Looked like frustration over the offensive foul got the better of Trent Johnson there. He fired off the bench and called a timeout. The next whistle is the under 4 media timeout. Not like he has the ball here and can draw something up. Not like his team is falling apart.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:22 pm

Here are the TCU stats, and one could easily argue the 9-3 record is a product of the schedule.


Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:21 pm

And Terry Henderson needs a seat…

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:20 pm

Noreen: Two fouls, four falls.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:19 pm

If you look at their stats, the Horned Frogs aren’t especially good nationally at anything … except getting to the line and getting points at the line. They’re 2-for-3 so far today.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:15 pm

I’m still amazed how many people don’t understand the new rules. A defender guarding in transition and simply stopping to draw a charge is not only a foul, but it’s one of the reasons things changed.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:13 pm

As expected, TCU a perfect 7-for-7 from 3-point range and 10-for-14 from the floor to take a 28-23 lead. Season-high in 3s? None, twice, on 16 and 20 attempts.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:10 pm

TCU plan to wear out Harris? Guard him with Christian Gore. That’s a mismatch.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:09 pm

See?!?! Second 15-footer of the day.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:08 pm

And that’s a tidy 2-for-2. He looks great at the line, even on his misses. I never understood how he had such a great looking shot and good touch and was so bad.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:08 pm

Let’s buckle up: Devin Williams at the foul line!

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:07 pm

And they can be really long in a 2-3, though that hasn’t given WVU much trouble yet. As it is, WVU is 6-for-14 (4-6) and TCU is 7-for-11 (4-4!) and the Horned Frogs lead 19-17.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:06 pm

This is a much better TCU team than I saw twice last season and Shepherd has been a non-factor. Anderson is in charge and Fields seems like the alpha dog. Parrish, Jarvis and Hill are nice pieces around the bigger parts.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:04 pm

Parrish (11) is an interesting player. He’s listed as a center, but he roams around like a guard.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:02 pm

Hot start for Harris as he looks in rhythm. Let’s see how long Huggins uses him here in his first burn.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20144:01 pm

Fields was 5-for-11 from 3 before this game. He’s only played in five games, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20143:57 pm

Here’s a 2014 reality check: UConn is 0-2 in the conference with losses to Houston and SMU.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20143:54 pm

WVU is just as big as TCU, by the way. The mobility is the issue with Noreen and Adrian. Height/weight isn’t an issue.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20143:52 pm

So far not so good on WVU’s performance inside. Field was left open for a 3. Shepherd blocked Noreen’s shot and sent Noreen to the ground. Parrish cut and scored. Fields crossed up Noreen, who fell and recovered to foul for an and-one. It’s 8-7 TCU.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20143:45 pm

Also, this is precisely the type of occasion you should joke about when you joke about conference realignment: “Whoa, can’t wait for that WVU v. TCU game at 3 p.m. on a Saturday during the NFL playoffs!”

Mike Casazza January 4, 20143:43 pm

Good or bad news for WVU? Texas Tech got amped up for No. 13 Iowa State and gave it a go, but came up short. Either learned something it can apply Monday or can’t get up again for “just” WVU Monday.


Mike Casazza January 4, 20143:35 pm

Oh, and there’s no one here. Beautiful day and a 3 p.m. local time start will do that to you in the Metroplex.

Mike Casazza January 4, 20143:34 pm

As for Holton, Bob Huggins used his radio show Thursday night (I’m told) to supply the first real piece of evidence in this constantly changing, perpetually undefined case. He said WVU was hopeful to get a ruling from the NCAA Friday.

I’m told that didn’t happen, which is dramatically different from getting a bad ruling. So this is going to last a little longer, but maybe just a little longer.

There’s now hope the NCAA meets and rules Monday, and WVU is optimistic Holton will be cleared to play because the feeling is he’s done everything he was supposed to do. The delay, it seems, is that the NCAA just hasn’t met to rule on cases like Holton’s.

This isn’t a case of the screwy NCAA being screwy. The rules are not subjective. They don’t treat cases like this differently. Has it taken longer than WVU would have liked? It would seem so, but the NCAA has for years been slow to act because it’s been overwhelmed and understaffed. This happens.

If the NCAA gives the green light Monday, there’s no way Holton makes it to Lubbock in time for Monday’s game. But he could practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and be ready for Oklahoma State, which isn’t a bad thing.