USA TODAY Sports
Another ugly game by the WVU Mountaineers leads to a blowout win for Purdue.
It was the worst of times...it was the worst of times. There were no "best of times" to be had during this game.
For the first time since, ever, I am glad WVU was pulled from TV in favor of another contest. It is also the first time I have ever felt justified writing/starting to write a recap of a game with more than 10 minutes left to play. After another pathetic shooting display, this team has almost become unwatchable.
The past two games, against Kansas State and Iowa State, WVU basketball showed signs of life. With grind-it-out play and gritty defense, WVU was able to hang in and almost win the previous 2 contests. That all changed today when WVU had shot 23% within the first couple minutes of the second half. It didn't help that D.J. Byrd exploded for 17 points (with 9 minutes left to play) after an impressive 3 point shooting display.
Normally, this space would be full of stats, significant plays, contributing players, and positive thoughts for our next contest. But since I'm writing this with 7 minutes left in the game, I'm going to skip all that and just let our readers know that we looked worse than horrible today. In fact, it looks like we took 10 steps backwards. Multiple mental mistakes, double dribbles, poor shooting, and numerous turnovers doomed this team from the first half. Unlike the last two games, there would be no comeback (assuming we don't pull off a miracle in the second half).
It is currently 68-38 Purdue with 5:52 left in the game, and I have lost any optimism for the remainder of the season. I'm not giving up on our guys, I'm just not sure how Huggins is going to teach them to shoot at this late date. I've never seen a team miss so many layups and easy shots. Even the best coaching can't teach shooting in game situations. The guys are in the right spots, they're just off the mark.
It looks like it's going to be a long, frustrating season, but I still have faith in Huggs. At some point, one would think, those shots will start falling. Until then, fasten your seatbelts.