WVU Sports with Mike Casazza

Friday Feedback

Share This Article

Welcome to the Friday Feedback, your fifth starter and finishing the week (at times!) for 302 editions. Hold your applause.

Good work this week, everybody. It wasn’t easy, but it was honest and raw and informative. It actually gave me some ideas for stories I want to pursue, namely one about the clutch lineups. You’ll notice we don’t touch that post today, and I think you know what we’re going to discuss. You’ve been waiting for the next game, so let’s not any longer to spend even more time on the last game.

Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, look alive.

Sid Brockman said:

I would argue this could end up as the worst loss in WVU basketball history. Both because of how they lost the game, and also because of what a win would have meant. I don’t know how they recover from this one.

The story of this team is yet to be written, but the early draft should be “Missed Opportunities”.

To me, the recovery thing is a big deal. This identity isn’t new to WVU. Honestly, it’s not an identical match, but the behavior started in the Temple game, and it persists. That sort of shortcoming can weigh on a team. I think it bothers this one, and I think that it has been a trait for so long suggests it bothers the players and coaches that much more. Sooner or later, you realize it’s out there and it’s coming.

smeer said:

also – have we not learned that this team does not know how to play with its foot off the throttle? this team needs to take open shots no matter where on the shot clock because it is incapable of having someone manufacture a score with the shot clock running down.

I too wondered why an isolated tarik decided a three pointer was in order at the end. when everyone was begging him to penetrate. that was beyond pathetic

No, that’s a good point. You’ve got a sports car that looks great out on the highway, but everything you know changes when you see the same car running a paper route. But there’s nothing to do about that, really. I think the “The clock is your friend!” line is true for some teams but not all … and WVU might be with the latter.

Dino said:

……….wondered why Carter wasn’t in the game there during the end of regulation. Thought they really missed his poise, didn’t know then that he was dinged-up.

This team has had some harsh growing-pains this season. Hopefully then have learned a few things from what they’ve experience and will be more mature and poised come tournament time……….. and btw, Kansas didn’t “Win” that game, the Mountaineers “Lost” that game.

Next up, Texas Tech……. and the Red Raiders are playing well. We’ll see.

Kansas came from 14 points down with 2:58 to go and then had to go to overtime. Had to shoot 8-for-13 from the floor and 13-for-16 at the free-throw line. That deserves some praise.

Patchy said:

At the risk of giving Bill Self too much credit, it seems that top coaches have the ability to coach the opposing team as well as their own by inducing panic in them and getting cheap turnovers, fouls and baskets. Yes, their teams are often laden with talent but advancing in tournament games often relies on the stop-start segments in the last 2 minutes.

Huggins’ W-L record speaks for itself but the man simply cannot control his temper. Camera operators and TV directors know this all too well. Any lapse on the floor by a player and Huggs is pointing to his bench and yanking the offending player out of the game regardless of situation. There is no instruction, there is no encouragement, there is only punishment. The best five in terms of talent and/or cohesion may be on the floor at the time but that matters not when the red alert sounds for the 20th time in a game.

To be fair, KU hit some ridiculous shots and a loud home crowd always helps (credit Vitale for ripping the early departures). ‘Outcoached’ is a cliche and an oversimplification. It’s more accurate to say that the constant cycle of remonstration we’re so familiar with on the WVU bench finally cost them dear and Self/KU merely took advantage.

I mean, Kansas hadn’t pressed in a month? And five guys — combinations that we’re told rarely play together — pulled that off against a team that presses and, presumably, knows what to do. Hard to ignore that one team thrived and one team did not in that environment.

Shoot4Show said:

I don’t have 800 wins, but I’m curious why Huggs played Beetle at the end of regulation versus Myers. If Carter can’t go and Miles can’t shoot FTs, your next experienced guard is Myers. Beetle was a spark off the bench, but it’s a lot to ask a red shirt freshman to respond in that situation. Myers seems fearless, has offensive skills, and would likely have taken the ball to the basket.

Myers is a pretty good free-throw shooter, but he’d gone 0-for-2 at the line and, more importantly, has been turning the ball over. He does get into the lane, but he gets himself into trouble.

Rugger said:

A 4 point OT loss @ KU is nothing to be ashamed of. Rub some dirt on it and move on.

Ashamed is a strong word.

The 25315 said:

A 4 point loss at Kansas is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.  Blowing a 14 point lead with 2+ minutes to go is something to be very ashamed of.

Still a strong word … but I find it almost impossible to say, “Hey, WVU lost by four,” before I say, “Whoa, WVU lost a 14-point lead with 2:58 to go.”

avb31 said:

This team should be 24-2, and ranked at least #2, maybe #1. This might be their rock bottom moment that turns things around. I guess things aren’t all bad when rock bottom is squandering a lead at the Phog and blowing a chance to sweep KU.

Bold prediction time. They go no worse than 4-1 down the stretch and win the conference tournament.

Bold!

Karl said:

I’m the biggest WVU pessimist of us all, but we are going to win the Big 12 tournament. And beat Kansas along the way.

Bolder!

Sid Brockman said:

This is the only team I can remember that can look like the best team in the Big 12 and worst team in the Big 12 in a span of a few minutes. At times, I watch them and think “How did I ever think this team was good?” and other times I watch them and think “How did I not believe in this team?”

They dominated KU at Phog Allen for 37 minutes. And then, when it was over, I wondered how that team could have played so well for that long.

College sports, man.

Mack said:

Under the radar call that I didn’t like . . . Kansas’s player drove and missed a shot. . . the ref called charging against the KU player. I thought it was an instance where a no call made the most sense, but the charging called made the clock stop and allowed Kansas to get into its full court press. This subtlely was a big deal for KU because it was a clear miss where WVU was getting the rebound (and would’ve run more clock).

Again, sour grapes, but I hate the idea that each team gets so many timeouts that KU was able to call a timeout after every single made basket in the last two minutes so it could set up its full court press.

When WVU was in the Big East, Syracuse was probably the premiere team for most of those years… yet it never felt like the officiating made it so difficult to win at Syracuse like the Big 12 does with Kansas.

Damnit. I thought the same thing live. Late whistle, too. Which is weird, because it’s not the call you’d expect. That and the push-offs on Mason, and I was wondering if that was just WVU’s night. But secretly, you know one or two more twists remain. That’s the specter of officiating at Allen Fieldhouse.

Down South said:

I may be the only one to have this take, but I’m encouraged by the fact that we are good enough to be up by 14 against Kansas with 160 seconds left in the game. It’s a bummer we didn’t win, but the late lead speaks to how good this team is.

Did the same thing to Texas A&M and won, and that didn’t feel good. Here’s the issue: Teams used to cower when WVU put a run on them. That is not happening now. It’s like they know. They still have to do it, which is hard, but what’s that saying? Knowing is half the battle?

smeer said:

“if only”

so yes – common basketball logic says – keep them in front of you (basketball’s version of the prevent D)

but how many times – IN JUST THIS SEASON – has this failed us?

the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

this team should never stop doing WHAT IS WORKING.

they built a freaking 14 point lead then Devonte Graham noticed we took our foot off the gas.

yeah – it’s a complex game – so why switch out of what is working? keep doing it until they make it stop working. then do something different (remember when Huggs would unload the 1-3-1 just to throw a changeup?)

but they MIGHT get easy baskets

hows that working for ya?

the clock is not our friend – either in seeking to make the other team work to score or us throwing up a desperation shot after milking the clock

insanity reigns

Imagine when WVU is up by 13 with five minutes to go tomorrow and presses and Texas Tech commences a parade of layups!

Sid Brockman said:

And not to question Huggs, but why not press more aggressively against that team? Mason has been sick, they run about 7 deep and had just played Saturday. WVU would have given up some easy buckets, but KU’s defense is not stellar and I would like to think they would have been too exhausted to come back.

But, there’s 100 things we could wonder about to change the outcome.

What if WVU doesn’t press as well as it did last season? I think we might be overlooking that. It’s not a stonewall for offenses. Like, when a closer is throwing changeups and sliders and holstering the fastball, that worries me. If he’s throwing for the fifth time in seven games, maybe that makes a little more sense.

DirtyFrank said:

I’ll take the “why not press more” question. That’s a team that wants to get out and run. and they can finish. and they can stick open 3s in the secondary break. you had to play the free safety-type press (where you guard the inbound less and keep the guards from getting angles), otherwise you’re in an OU-at-the-Coliseum situation against a MUCH better team. I thought the halfcourt d was really good. most of the bad stuff at the end was stepback 3s (that hadn’t gone in the entire game) and live ball turnovers leading to buckets.

I have a lot of feelings about the officiating (specifically, the high number of uncalled moving screens in the last 3 minutes of regulation), but, even with that, the slightest amount of execution on press break (and/or a healthy Jevon Carter) and it’s a win.

Yeah, I think 3-pointers worried WVU. That’s normally how a team catches up. I just don’t think anyone was predicting the turnovers or the nature of the turnovers, and to be honest, there weren’t may chances to set up the press because there weren’t that many scores. Just four in the final 2:58 and none in the first 3:04 of overtime.

Drew said:

Louisville is #1 to me, hands down, no question. That was the final four that was locked up at halftime. Texas stung, but it was a good shot matched by a better one, not an entire half of waiting for the fall, if you will. Unless it’s just another loss to Kansas, this time in the conference tournament, I don’t think this team has another potential loss of that significance to worry about. They won’t make it that far.

I put Texas above it because of the finality. That was the curtain drop for a very good team. And the postgame was brutal. Just brutal. 

Matt said:

I originally was in complete disagreement with Texas over Louisville, but thinking about it, we had a better shot in ’06 due to our path. Didn’t have to exert much against So. Illinois and NW State. We would’ve had a decent shot at knocking off LSU that year with our perimeter game negating the shot-blocking of Tyrus Thomas and Big Baby Davis. Then roll the dice vs young ucla and fla.

2005 Louisville hurt big time, but nobody was beating Deron Williams/Dee Brown Illinois or Felton/May/McCants UNC.

… I’m with you. So are 13 other people. Similarly, Huggins believes he had a Final Four team in 2008. Not sure that UCLA squad waiting in the Elite Eight would agree, though.

Aaron Hawley said:

The game this felt the most like to me was the 1995 Georgetown game. First game in the Big East. Dominant performance for 35+ minutes, it all came a part at the end. The stakes weren’t as high as all the games you mentioned, but that’s the one I found myself thinking about on Tuesday morning.

I was in … middle school … yikes … and I think I remember watching that. Totally detached. Georgetown was an institution in northern Virginia, which is where I was living at the time. But I remember that and thinking how good Georgetown was when, in reality, so much more was involved. It’s sort of crazy how perspectives change when you realize how involved it is.  

Mack said:

I hate to go the other way with this one but, to me, the fact that the athletic department set up the meeting with Fake Huggins and Real Huggins speaks to how boring the Fake Huggins Twitter account is. The Fake Holgorsen account was a BAZILLION times funnier, and I don’t think the athletic department will be setting up a meeting with Fake Holgs and Real Holgs any time soon . . . though I would suspect that Real Holgs probably finds it pretty funny as well.

Daggum Roy is another good fake Twitter account. Anyone know any others?

Boring is not the word I’d use, but I don’t see what’s wrong with the either tactic. They’re different, but that’s fine. They mimic different people and they have different authors. Holgorsen’s was edgier, and there was a different delivery for a different voice. Fake Huggins, I don’t know, has more production but it imitates the coach pretty well. In many ways, so did Holgorsen’s. I also think there’s a reason FauxHolgorsen never wanted a meeting. 

Hoot said:

Heavy sigh…Bill Snyder confirms he has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

Can’t wait for him to beat cancer and sent it a hand-written letter.

OhioMike said:

Certainly coming from a quality program. Seems like a good hire. More recruiting in Georgia you think? Or recruit position rather than territory?

Doug Belk’s going to be in Georgia. He’s from there and WVU is recruiting there. I have to think that was part of the appeal, perhaps mutually. Right now, the Mountaineers have offered scholarships to 20 players in the 2018 class. Only Florida (43) has more.

StraightOuttaNorthCentral:

He’s young and served under Saban. Therefore, I’m going to assume he’s renting, not buying, in Morgantown and we shouldn’t get too used to him.

Fair. The other part of that is he’ll probably work his tail off. Also, he’s 29. That’s not typical of a G.A.

Mr Burns said:

has a bowl game named after him

Not inaccurate.

SheikYbuti said:

Why in the world would a talented coach want to leave Alabama for a lesser-pedigreed program, albeit one in the Power Five? Do you think maybe Belk’s avenues for internal promotion were blocked by more politically connected coaches? It must be a bear working for someone as demanding and off-kilter as Saban. Does Belk have relatives in West Virginia? I admit that the weather is a little more temperate here. How in the world is Alabama’s football program going to survive the revolving door in its support system?

Aaah. I see what you did there.

Grumpy said:

Sheik he was a GA at Alabama, now he is full time coach, making more money.

Enjoy the weekend!