As the score would indicate, West Virginia did not do a whole lot right in their 79-52 loss to Purdue on Saturday. After checking the tape, Bob Huggins was in agreement on Monday.
“We didn’t play defensively, we didn’t take anything away from people, and we didn’t rebound the ball,” said Huggins. “We let them do the things that they’re good at doing.”
It wasn’t much better on offense, either.
“We start the game, we miss a layup. I think we turn it over two or three of the next four times. Not just turn it over, but it led to baskets,” Huggins said, audibly perplexed. “We shot ourselves in the foot in that regard.”
Although the loss the Boilermakers was a disaster, Huggins felt his team played decent in the previous two losses, but just could not close.
“We felt pretty good going into the Kansas State game and I thought we did a pretty good job defensively. We didn’t make a basket when we needed to make a basket,” said Huggins. “(In the) Iowa State game we didn’t get a stop when we needed to get a stop.”
For a coach that has been to the postseason 22 straight seasons – 19 of the last 20 for the NCAA Tournament – this 8-9 start is one of the worst in his career. In fact, he’s not sure there has been a worse one.
“Not that I can remember,” Huggins said when asked if he ever remembered a situation like the one he is facing currently. “We find different ways to shoot ourselves in the foot. If we shoot okay from the field, we can’t make a foul shot. If we make a foul shot, we can’t shoot from the field.”
Not only that, but the Mountaineers head coach says he thought this team had the chance to be a contender in the Big 12 Conference before the season.
“I never saw it coming,” he said Monday. “I honestly thought we would be very competitive.”
When asked what his team needed to do to turn things around, Huggins’ answer was straight to the point.