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Mountaineer Retweet: Texas Two-Step

The 'Eers headed to the Lone Star state for a Friday-Monday pair of winnable conference games against TCU and Texas Tech. Let's check up on the Twitters and see how they fared.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I'd like to start this off by giving a whole lot of thanks to Brandon Priddy for creating the idea of Mountaineer Retweet and executing it so well during football season. I'm looking forward to continuing this for basketball, and I hope that I can pull this off half as well as Brandon did for football.

Basketball's version of Mountaineer Retweet is going to be a little bit different in that I'm going to cover a couple games at a time, starting with last Saturday's conference opener against TCU in Ft. Worth and continuing the road trip with Monday's game in Lubbock against Tubby Smith's Texas Tech Red Raiders.

WVU @ TCU (1/4/2014):

Making shots is pretty fun. This game was instantly 100% more watchable than either of last season's "basketball games" between the 'Eers and Frogs.

Playing off the above tweet stating the new-found ability to make shots, Smitty makes a point that has honestly been one of my favorite developments of this season. Previously, and especially last season, Mountaineer teams have been completely unable to shoot opposing defenses out of the 2-3. It got to the point that I wondered why teams ever lined up differently. This year, that problem has gone away with the emergence of shooters at almost every position.

This is a testament to the 2013-2014 Mountaineer basketball team. They may not be great, they probably won't make the tournament (prove me wrong, guys, please), and they're going to go through some stretches of really bad basketball. But, damn, they compete game in and game out. That's the chief difference between 2012-13 and 2013-14. Last year's Mountaineers would have lost this game, I'm sure of it. They would have wilted under a hot shooting first half from TCU and dug themselves a hole they could score their way out of. This year's team fought, rolled with the punches, fought for a halftime lead, and eventually won.

This has to change. Brandon Watkins needs to be able to get minutes on this team. Specifically, in my opinion, he needs to be able to take Kevin Noreen's minutes. I've been an enormous fan of Big Sweat and the #NORTHREEN movement, but he's been a liability all season. Watkins needs to be able to get on the floor and stay on it.

Okay, this is kind of a cop-out. The second half of this game was a slow, sloppy affair and honestly, I wasn't able to watch it. We battled through some adversity to get a conference win on the road, and every single one of those--despite the quality of opponent--is important. It's time to move on to Lubbock and try to make it 2-0 for 2014.

WVU @ Texas Tech (1/6/2014):

Thank you, gracious Big 12 overlords. Getting to stay in Texas for a weekend instead of flying to Morgantown and back is huge and should definitely help ease the Big 12 growing pains that we faced last season. This has been something the Pac-10/12 has done forever and it irked me that we got the short end of the scheduling stick last season.

Two medicore teams combined with the new officiating rules can create some pretty awful basketball. This has been a theme all season. Tech jumps out to a small early lead.

Well....scratch everything I just said. After an awful, ugly start, the pace of this game hit warp speed and Terry Henderson began his path to become the Emperor of the Universe.

We desperately, desperately, desperately need more capable big men. Fouls are going to be a thorn in our side all year.

In related news, #FreeHolton

Real talk. How is Morgantown getting every kind of new business under the sun, but NOT a Whataburger? This is probably the reason behind our struggles in the Big 12.

Dunks are fun.

The fast break dunk by Staten capped off a really awesome couple of minutes by Gary Browne. He of the immensely improved jumper drained a three, and then a possession or two later, he plays some great defense and forces the turnover that leads to Staten's big dunk.

Beautiful sequence by Staten. Gets a transition lay up on one possession, then proceeds to vivisect the Red Raiders for another two on the next. He's night and day from last year and it's beautiful.

Hate giving up last second shots like that, but WVU leads at half.

Strong start for the second half, as the described series was followed by an appearance by 3RON. Crockett has been mostly a non-factor in the game so far. Shutting him down is huge for WVU.

Dusty Hannahs has inexplicably gone bananas. T3RRY H3ND3ERSON showed up to quell the storm for a bit, but Hannahs answered right back. 53-50 as we go to a TV time-out and the BCS National Championship begins, which just might overshadow our game on Twitter.


Danger Zone. WVU having it's "young team" moment as the lead gets cut to one. This team needs to learn how to close games and find the players who have the confidence level required to do the closing.

please let juwan staten be a closer. please let juwan staten be a closer. please let juwan staten be a closer. please let juwan staten be a closer. please let juwan staten be a closer. please let juwan staten be a closer.

Or Eron Harris. I'm not picky about these things.

Ugh. Crockett comes back for the stretch run and we promptly lose the lead. Someone. Anyone. Needs to step up to finish games for this team.

Relative of Tim, I can only assume. Huggs has had problems with officiating all night. I'm feeling some high quality post game snark is on the way.

Huge four point play fueled by pure strength from our two freshman big men. That's the kind of effort that the Huggins era at WVU is built on.

Yup. Down one,49 seconds remain. This needs to be where this team grows up. No more excuses.

le sigh. Huggs draws up a beautiful in bounds play, but Watkins misses the lay-up off the lob pass.

/shameless self inclusion. Shut up.

It's not like anything else is happening tonight. #FreeBasketball

Shades of Dalton Pepper versus Clemson. Big play from the Morgantown native.

Staten has been extremely clutch tonight. He's clearly this team's leader and needs to continue to be the closer down the stretch.

Scary moment, there. Refs eventually go to the monitor and get the call correct, but those were two badly executed plays. Tech had us flustered, big time.

It was touch and go for a while, but WVU continues its theme of battling and picks up another road conference win to move to 9-5 and 2-0 in Big 12 play. I'd like to think that we grew up a little bit in this game and learned from our prior close calls. Like the TCU game before it, I think this is a game that the 2012-2013 squad loses.

Next up is another Saturday-Monday set (this time in the friendly confines of the Coliseum) against the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Texas Longhorns.

Until then, keep tweeting and Let's Go Mountaineers!