You are looking live at a themed T-shirt for today’s game here at the Coliseum. There’s a bunch of these in gold, too. Ought to look good on the Big 12 Network (where applicable).
It’s an aggressively coordinated effort in the student section with special game day editions of the Daily Athenaeum, as well as the appropriately colored T-shirts, found throughout.
And in those newspaper pages? Your Jan. 11, 2014 version of the Mountaineer Musings. Stevie Clark is no longer suspended, by the way. He was indefinitely suspended for one game and played the most recent game. Admire the effort nonetheless.
Interesting play-by-play crew today: Mitch Holthus, who is the Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs, and Bryndon Manzer, who played for the Cowboys (1991-94) and moonlights behind the mic when he’s not working in financial advising.
By the way, Kansas is crushing Kansas State and Oklahoma beat Iowa State — and the Jayhawks and Sooners are and were at home. WVU, the host today, will be all alone in first place with a win against the Cowboys. The Mountaineers are a 51/2-point underdog.
And now for the other reason we’re here: Significant socks update after the jump …
Eron Harris, late of neon green and then white socks, is apparently wearing black today. You’re welcome.
And Staten goes left and is guarded on the left. Honestly the first time they’ve gone that way defensively on him all game.
Also, Adrian nearly made the play of the damn game with that jump ball. As poorly as he played, he legitimized his presence when it counted. He’s out now, though. Looks like Dibo, Williams, Staten, Harris and Henderson.
BREAKING: Source tells Charleston Daily Mail WVU QB Ford Childress was suspended from team and chose not to enroll for spring semester.
— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) January 11, 2014
Adrian is still in the game…
Improbably, WVU was only outscored 9-6 in that 4:08 without a basket. That’s looming large down just 68-67 with 3:55 left to play.
And then he lets Smart beat him for a rebound of a missed free throw.
Henderson ends 4:08 run without a basket with a 3, WVU gets a stop, Staten dribble-drives left and scores and Adrian fouls AGAIN in transition. He has four fouls in three minutes this game. That’s about impossible.
WVU serenading Marcus Smart with a chant like the one a young Derek aimed at his brother Brennan in “Stepbrothers.”
Six turnovers for the Mountaineers this half and six baskets/14 points for OSU. Harris adds two more points at the foul line, though, to keep it tight at 64-61.
WVU has 18 points this half and 11 are at the free throw line.
A sloppy WVU for most of this half — 3-or-13 shooting and five turnovers for 12 OSU points. WVU shot 45 percent in the first half with four turnovers that OSU used for just four points.
I love the fans upset at the star treatment. Dude’s got three fouls. His team is down 9-3 this half in fouls.
Fouls are 8-1 in WVU’s favor, by the way. Let’s see how long Edsall & Co. allow that to last.
Dibo comin’ after this timeout…
Forte seriously has not had a hand in his face one time today. He’s 3-for-7 from deep.
Forte should have abut 18 points right now. He has six.
Staten’s two free throw tie the score and another Henderson 3 gives WVU the 50-47 lead. OSU already has four fouls. Had three the entire first half.
Not a very good start for the Mountaineers this half — 0-for-4 with two turnovers before Harris flipped one in inside. The Cowboys took their first lead on a Smart 3. It’s now 47-45 Cowboys at the first media timeout.
OSU looked totally clueless there and, frankly, scared of the 3. Williams had the easiest two-footer you’ll find at the end of the half on a team that doesn’t get two-footers.
Surprised Dibo isn’t in here …
OK, timeout WVU now after Smart and Brown misfired on a lob Henderson caught under the hoop. It starts with Staten, of course, but where does it end?
And there’s the bad WVU. Watkins takes a jumper he had no business taking — surrounded in the paint and he’s not a shooter — and it’s blocked. That leads to transition and once more NOBODY guards Forte, who makes a 3. WVU goes back and Henderson misses an open 3. OSU now has the ball tied 39-39 with 43.2 seconds to go in the half.
Such a small margin.
And Staten pushes inside the arch and heads left, his defender drops WAY back and Staten sinks a long jumper. Cause, effect.
Dibo sits and receives a perfectly appropriate uneven ovation.
Tuck your chains!
This Dibo is fun to watch. He’s flawed and frenetic and oddly effective. Great bench guy/bench role.
WVU’s offense has slowed lately and struggled to find good shots, but OSU has sagged into the lane and jumped out on the catcher. Makes life difficult.
…huh? No clue how that’s a foul. And Huggins is seeing Higgins in Duke Edsall.
Here’s Dibo now and he’d been action-packed in short spurts lately.
Cowboys aren’t playing poorly. They’ve made 5 of 6 and are getting their transition scoring to get 12 points since the last media timeout.
But WVU isn’t wilting. The Mountaineers are 6-for-7 and have also scored 12 points since the last media timeout. Critical.
Extended OSU bothers WVU extending its defense and falling back into a zone. There were openings and WVU declined before turning it over.
Also, WVU missed six in a row and has hit four in a row. Very capable of both.
And 6-9 Watkins pokes Smart, dives for the ball and gets a turnover for WVU.
Will no one guard Forte? And that’s a big bucket form him because 1) It takes off the lid (OSU as 0-for-5) and 2) He can’t stay out there if WVU keeps posting him and scoring.
Yah, Clark gets rid of it REALLY quick.
Two interesting things about Staten, as I 1) continue numerical lists and 2) marvel at his improvement.
1) He doesn’t go right very much. Defenders give him the left and he’s happy to oblige. I figure the scout says he drives and he’s right handed.
2) He’s a lot better defensively, even within this season. It’s hard to guard a point guard and keep him from catching the ball, but Staten at least keeps his guy from catching it where the offense wants.
Also, WVU up 17-12 without much from Harris.
Again, Adrian rebounds on a runway. He runs in from the back all the time and 1) doesn’t rebound and 2) fouls.
You have to like what Henderson is giving you right now — two baskets, rebounds and assists.
Yo, Adrian has to make him self valuable here. He’s not doing anything to get in position for defensive rebounds and he’s a bad defender right now that Nash targeted for an and-one.
(Williams out, but that’s a plus-3!)
Hey, Watkins and Williams together at 15:47 and up 10-7.
That foul on Noreen looked bad, sure, and it was Smart, who you want to believe will get calls, but Noreen fouled. That’s the rule this season.
Smart gets fouled a ton shoots and makes a ton of free throws. He seems of the mind right now that he has to get to the line.
OSU hasn’t gotten anything out of its offense. It’s a rebound basket and a transition layup. WVU is operating and scoring and we just saw Staten pick Smart in the backcourt and then make two free throws. It’s 10-4 with 16:28 to go.
Well, can’t leave Forte open that often. He’s been free three times … and has missed all three.
…and Brian Williams pushes too hard to cover Henderson, gives up a layup and sits.
Started with Staten on Smart and Smart got a shot off, but WVU made it difficult. And these guys are big in person.
Matt Wells, Walter White and Gordon Gee new to the giant heads in the student section — and they’re pumped.
Huggins had a lot of nice things to say about Kamari Murphy and the way he affects the game around the rim in place of injured Michael Cobbins. Murphy isn’t a bum. Ha was a top recruit two seasons ago — actually three seasons ago, too, because he prepped out of high school and was heavily recruited both times.
He’s not a scorer, per se, but if he scores, that’s a bonus. That guy on this team has to rebound and defend and make smart passes.
And for all the star power on this squad, Brian Williams, one might argue, is a most important piece. Not THE most important, of course, but he plays the best man-to-man defense and he rebounds and he can score. He’s a pressure relief valve. It helps keep guys like Nash, Smart and Brown from having to do those things and expend energy or accrue fouls.
I guess my point is this very athletic team is put together very nicely, especially if Clarke can give you something off the bench.
I’ll get this out of the way now: WVU has lost 14 in a row to ranked teams. WVU’s last win against a ranked team was 74-62 at home against No. 9 Georgetown in January 2012. The only longer losing streak to ranked teams in school history was a 20-game rut from 1971-82.
Suppose the Mountaineers lose today. I’m projecting a little bit (Kansas State won’t be ranked a week from today, for example. If things don’t change and WVU keeps losing to ranked teams, then opponent NO. 20 would be at home Feb. 22 against Baylor and No. 21 would be at Iowa State four days later.
I kind of get the feeling this ends sooner, though.
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