When we last left the world of Mountaineer Retweet, our young Mountaineers had finally gotten the win that they've been so close to seemingly all season long. They went down to Waco and closed out a game against a talented (yet struggling at the time) Baylor Bears squad, and looked to finally have some momentum as we walked down the tough home stretch of this basketball schedule. The question on everyone's mind, however, was whether or not we could build on it.
Spoiler alert: we did.
Kansas State (2/1):
This is honestly kind of terrifying. Just sort of unsettling.
Anyway, let's get this started. (This tweets may be kind of disjointed, I was at the game and don't get the best service.)
"NOW SIT DOWN!" Coach Huggins laying into Noreen as the big man head to the bench. #WVU down early, 8-3— Marc Basham (@marc_b) February 1, 2014
Kevin Noreen started this game. We never saw him again after this point, and frankly it was for the best. K-State's physical bigs are just too much for Big Sweat. It just hasn't been Kevin Noreen's year, and at this point he's basically just five fouls.
Terry Henderson heating up! Ends a 1-of-6 shooting stretch to open the game for WVU, with a lay up and then a big 3. 8-8 tie, 15:41 1st half— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) February 1, 2014
Terry Henderson with confidence is a wonderful thing. I've said it before and I'll say it again. He's a different player when he starts out slow -- it seems like it deflates his whole day. He got off to a great start on Saturday, and stopped K-State from going on too crazy of an early run.
Great way to return to action...strong take from Juwan Staten. He's on the board as WVU takes the lead 10-8.— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) February 1, 2014
Juwan scores his first points here to give us a two point lead.
These are not his last points.
Devin Williams has done a good job of not letting K-State bigs get good position in the post since coming in off the bench.— Michael Carvelli (@Carvelli3) February 1, 2014
We were manhandled inside in game one against Kansas State and earlier in the year against Texas. The continuing maturation of Devin Williams is huge if we're going to continue to build this season. He's going to have to be able to go head to head with the best bigs the Big 12 can offer.
#WVU is really doing well at attacking the basket. Even if they don't get the basket, it is forcing fouls. Will pay off in the long run.— SmithFire13 (@SmithFire13) February 1, 2014
K-State just came up empty on a 3-on-1 break, now down 5 after another Harris bucket— Doug Walp (@dougWalp) February 1, 2014
Okay, I'm including this because it was hilarious -- and honestly was a critical moment.
K-State blew a 3-1 break in the most hilarious way possible. Gary Browne was the sole Mountaineer defender, and had completely given up. He didn't even try to foul. The Wildcats missed the layup and Eron Harris scores at the other end. This was a big swing in momentum.
Could have been better, but honestly, when was the last time #WVU ended a first half better? Usually giving up pts. Leads 39-31.— Dave Hickman (@dphickman1) February 1, 2014
Hickman's right here: it could have been better. We missed some big opportunities that could have led to us running away with this game at halftime. But, managing to be up 8 was a complete and total victory. The Coliseum, while not near full capacity, was rocking as the team went back to the locker room.
#WVU falling apart. Kansas State ties the contest at 53— Marc Basham (@marc_b) February 1, 2014
This game went back and forth for the first eight minutes of the second half before the Wildcats finally get their run (8-0) and tie up the game at 53. This was a crucial moment for the young 'Eers. Could they build off the Baylor win and fight back or crumble under pressure as they had so many times before?
It's really hard to watch Devin Williams make post moves. It's just not there yet.— SmithFire13 (@SmithFire13) February 1, 2014
If you keep trying to go to Devin Williams for crucial baskets in the second half, you’re gonna have a bad time— Doug Walp (@dougWalp) February 1, 2014
One of the realities we just have to deal with this season is the idea that "Devin Williams giveth, Devin Williams taketh away." Smitty's right: it's not all there yet.
But it's gonna click for this kid. And it's going to be awesome when it does.
#HeadsUp Juwan Staten's season/career high is 28 points (Duquesne). He's got 23 with 11 minutes left in this one.— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) February 1, 2014
Huggins has Gary Browne posting up against 6-3, 205-pound Omari Lawrence. And it worked.— Dave Hickman (@dphickman1) February 1, 2014
I laughed my ass off for a solid 30 seconds after this.
I’m not sure there is a player in the Big 12 that can stay in front of Juwan Staten without fouling on a regular basis— Doug Walp (@dougWalp) February 1, 2014
Truth. What Juwan Staten is doing this season is nothing short of remarkable. Frankly, I'd be tempted to just constantly run Iso and give him the option of kicking the ball outside on every possession. He's either gonna score, get fouled, or find and open man. This is point guard play that we've never had before.
Dibo showing his versatility by putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim. Frenchman expanding his game is good news for #WVU.— Keenan Cummings (@rivalskeenan) February 1, 2014
Remi Dibo followed up his great game against Baylor with another solid performance today. It's crucial that he keeps this up, especially with Noreen being a statistical non-factor.
Staten now has 33 points, four rebounds, five assists. Last #WVU player to do that in a game was Lowes Moore in 1978.— Michael Carvelli (@Carvelli3) February 1, 2014
Damn. The only bad thing about this is that Juwan hurts his assist average by scoring so much.
Last #WVU player with 35 in a game was Da’Sean’s 43-point game in 2009. Staten got 35 with that dunk.— Michael Carvelli (@Carvelli3) February 1, 2014
And of course, it's Staten that puts the closing touches on this game with an absolutely thunderous dunk that sent the Coliseum into hysterics. WVU wins 81-71 on the back of Juwan's monstrous game, mostly fueled by his ability to get to the line when driving. He shot 18-21(!!!!) from the charity stripe.
This game should live forever in the annals of Coliseum lore, and it's right up there with Da'Seans 43 point game against Villanova as one of the best individual performances I've seen live at the Coliseum. Which is better is a subject for a later debate, but I think it's a pretty close call.
The Mountaineers have gotten their second big win in a row, but the road continues to grow tougher after this, with the #21 Sooners of Oklahoma coming to Morgantown next. I want to end this section, though, with one final note:
35 points on 13 shots is impressive, or as we call it around the Coliseum: a reverse Truck Bryant.— Fake Bob Huggins (@FakeBobHuggins) February 1, 2014
(Author's Note: I realize that these tweets kinda run off towards the end, but my phone was dead and it was really hard to keep track of Twitter.)
5:32 p.m. ET. #Sooners have arrived at WVU Coliseum. Thx to all for wishing us safe, expedient travel. At least we got the safe part down.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) February 5, 2014
OU's road trip included a 4-hour delay at OKC, a plane change, a last-second rerouting from Clarksburg to Newark ... #WVU— The DP Sports (@TheDPsports) February 5, 2014
I just want to address this all at once. Yes: this sucked for Oklahoma. It's not an ideal way for anyone to have to play a major college basketball game. But it should not be put forward as sole reason that Oklahoma loses this game.
Travel woes happen (and it's happened to WVU in the past) and, again, they suck. This was particularly awful. But these are kids in the prime of their athletic careers, and travel fatigue just is not the sole reason for losing a basketball game.
Okay, let's go.
Noreen didn't even start, but he has 2 fouls at first TV timeout. #WVU leads OU 7-6. Sooners made 1st 4 shots, missed last 4.— Dave Hickman (@dphickman1) February 6, 2014
I just don't know how this is possible.
You've lost me, Big Sweat.
Spangler with 6 of Oklahoma's first ten points. #WVU notched up with the Sooners at 10 at the 14:57 mark.— Keenan Cummings (@rivalskeenan) February 6, 2014
Containing Sooner star Ryan Spangler is absolutely key for the Mountaineers to have a shot against Oklahoma.
I really like foreshadowing in this Retweet.
Looks like another 66-foul game brewing— Doug Walp (@dougWalp) February 6, 2014
<3 you new foul rules
<3 so much
West Virginia ahead of Oklahoma right now. It's early but this would be a big win for Bob Huggins' crew. Good way to start tough stretch.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) February 6, 2014
Yup. Our final stretch of the season as everyone knows by now, is brutal, and we've started it out absolutely flawlessly.
I could not be prouder of this young team right now.
DIBO FOR 3BO!!!— Jim Ashley (@JimAshley18) February 6, 2014
As a long time fan of putting "three" into people's names when they drain the long ball, R3MI THR33BO is potentially my favorite Mountaineer of all time.
Move over, MIK3 GANSTHR33.
(i'm kidding, mike, you're my favorite forever)
#WVU pushed forward with one hell of a run. A pair of threes from Dibo and Henderson gives the 'Eers a 37-25 advantage with 4:00 in the half— Marc Basham (@marc_b) February 6, 2014
This stretch of basketball leading into the half was the best we've played all year. This was a dominating showcase against an extremely well-coached and talented opponent. I can't believe how much this team has grown is so little time.
Staten pushes the ball better than any PG in the country. #WVUvsOU— Alex Ruoff (@ARuoff) February 6, 2014
Game recognize Game.
Juwan Staten poke steal leads to two free throws. He has no fouls. The eight other WVU players have at least one.— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) February 6, 2014
Casazza has talked at length about this. Juwan might be the new Jeff Withey. He plays almost every single minute of every game and just doesn't foul. Ever.
Amazing for a point guard in a league this talented.
#OU are currently Captains of the USS Strugglebus— SmithFire13 (@SmithFire13) February 6, 2014
This is the most apt description of this game as WVU takes a 43-32 lead into the break.
West Virginia has improved - St Louis rolling - Michigan ripping Nebraska !— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 6, 2014
It's nice to be recognized. People hate on ESPN hype, but it's important in some respects. People are starting to notice that this rebuild might be a year ahead of schedule.
Chucking up NBA-range threes and then jogging back on defense, leading to a fast-break layup. Not a good strategy. #KobeSystem— Michael Carvelli (@Carvelli3) February 6, 2014
Now that I know @KevinNoreen34 nickname is "Big Sweat" he is officially my favorite player— Clint Trickett (@ClintTrickett9) February 6, 2014
YOU SAID REC SPECS WAS YOUR FAVORITE PLAYER
I HAVE RECORD OF IT
WAY TO MAKE DEVIN WILLIAMS CRY, CLINT
GO OVER THERE AND APOLOGIZE NOW
This is about the point in the first half that WVU took over. Mountaineers need to do that again.— Tony Dobies (@DOBIEST) February 6, 2014
This is a game #WVU absolutely cannot lose. It would be a pure giveaway. Have to hang on here.— Jonathan Martin (@JonathanKMartin) February 6, 2014
WVU straight up lets Oklahoma right back into this game, and it was infuriating. The "young team" excuse/legitimate rationale rings true again, though. We just haven't grown a killer instinct yet.
Eron Harris is trying to do too much for WVU right now.— Patrick Southern (@patricksouthern) February 6, 2014
I promise this is probably the last time I foreshadow in this post.
Eron Harris with the "NOOOOOYYYYYYEEEEESSSSSS!!!!"— Fake Bob Huggins (@FakeBobHuggins) February 6, 2014
Possibly the biggest "Onions" moment in the Coliseum since Da'Sean's buzzer beater against Marquette. You know the one.
WVU had completely blown this game, and were on the verge of losing all the momentum they'd gained from the Baylor and K-State wins. And then Eron turns into 3RON and does that.
Eron Harris drills a 3. Oklahoma and West Virginia headed for OT. Just another night in the Big 12.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 6, 2014
I think a part of me will always miss Big East basketball at its peak. But damn if this year's Big 12 isn't one of the most fun conference's I've ever followed. This is going to be a great race to the finish.
Eron Harris shoots another three from Jupiter and connects. #WVU takes the lead back at 84-83.— Keenan Cummings (@rivalskeenan) February 6, 2014
Eron Harris gives no f**** beyond the arc tonight #WVU— Marc Basham (@marc_b) February 6, 2014
Someone please make an Eron Harris Is On Fire- NBA Jam gif. Thanks.— Randy Gyorko (@gyorkocfn) February 6, 2014
Okay I'm just going to condense Overtime into one mess of people talking about Eron Harris going ballistic. Juwan made some big shots as well, and Nate Adrian hit clutch free throws down the stretch but the extra five minutes were the 3RON show, no doubt. He finishes with 28 points after not scoring in the first half, and WVU takes down its first ranked opponent in more than two years (seriously, this was a thing) and continues this great, confidence building run.
Just a reminder of what a difference a year makes. pic.twitter.com/NWKGKCS0NR— Fake Bob Huggins (@FakeBobHuggins) February 6, 2014
Submitted without comment.
Well, that's the end of another fun (for real this time) edition of Mountaineer ReTweet. I'm so proud of these guys for proving me wrong. The growth of this team in such a short amount of time has been completely staggering. We can now have legitimate conversations about this team's life in the postseason, and I think if the Mountaineers come out of these next two games 1-1, they have a great shot of dancing. No lie, I'm on the record.
/looks at schedule
/sees @Kansas and Iowa State
No pressure, guys. Until next time, keep Tweeting and Let's Go Mountaineers!