I was tempted to write the exact same thoughts today as I did for the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi game. But that’s not why they pay me the big bucks. However, the sentiment is the same – if we don’t start fast it shows that our development as a team is not going very well thus far. And we started very badly against a terrible team in our last game.
The problem with going to the Final Four is that now our collective expectations are so high. And with the exception of the "Big 3" senior starters (KJ, Truck & Deniz), everyone else on the floor is still trying to get comfortable with the college game. WVU (7-2) and a work in progress.
"You always have those guys who want to know what they got to do to get into the game. Then you put them in the game and everyone sees why I haven’t put them in the game," Huggins said post-game. "We turned it over 15 times again - that’s way too much. Missed 12 free throws again. Three or four times we dribbled the ball off our foot. I mean how does a guy playing at this level dribble the ball off his foot?"
A reporter actually asked Huggs after the game, "Are you trying to mimic the football team with these slow starts?" The coach didn’t answer that one directly.
If the "Big 3" didn’t get the message that they’ve got to come out playing hard to start games, they weren’t listening. They did a lot of sitting in the first half of last game. Assuming they did hear, look for tonight to be a whole new ball game in terms of effort. Tennessee Tech (6-4) isn’t as bad as TAMCC, but they’re not that good, either. They use a three-guard lineup, which will provide a challenge defensively for our young guys.
That means Truck can’t afford to spend any time on the bench.
Tip off is 7:00 p.m. on ESPN Full Court, ESPN3, and the Big East Network.