Resilient (adjective) - being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
Since West Virginia started Big 12 conference play in the 2015-2016 season, the Mountaineers have faced their fair share of adversity and managed to stay unbeaten.
In the Big 12 opener against the Kansas State Wildcats, the Mountaineers faced a tough atmosphere on the road and their first halftime deficit of the season. Ultimately the game would be decided 87-83 in double overtime in the favor of WVU.
West Virginia committed as many turnovers (15) as Kansas State, which since implementing the press two years ago, has been a rare occurrence. The Mountaineers also shot just 47% from Field Goal range against Kansas State.
As is typical in Big 12 play (especially when games require extra time) West Virginia battled foul problems as they racked up 29 fouls during the game. Jonathan Holton, Javon Carter, Nathan Adrian and Elijah Macon all collected four fouls in the contest and had to spend crucial time sitting on the bench.
In the Mountaineers' second Big 12 game, they again played on the road at a venue that has given them problems in the past. Again, West Virginia saw itself trailing at halftime. Again, they battled back and won through the adversity.
This time, there were 33 fouls called on the Mountaineers and 60 total fouls called in a game decided in regulation. Devin Williams and Elijah Macon both fouled out of the game while Jonathan Holton, Brandon Watkins, Nathan Adrian and Jaysean Paige all collected four fouls.
The 17th ranked 13-1 West Virginia Mountaineers are exactly what they were not in the previous few years under head coach Bob Huggins. They are resilient. They battle through adversity and never panic. Most importantly, they never give up and they believe in each other.
The 2012-2014 Mountaineers faced lots of adversity but those squads didn't battle. They lacked heart and will. They didn't believe in each other.
Being down at halftime or late in the game those teams would have wilted. Not this year. They are 2-0 when trailing at halftime.
On a night where they had a hard time making baskets, they would have tried too hard to force shots. Not this year. West Virginia is 8-1 when shooting 50% or less from the field.
This season, the Mountaineers are 7-0 when shooting less free throws than their opponent and 6-1 when they commit more fouls than their opponent.
In 2015-2016, when West Virginia is trailing in a close game late, there is no reason to not believe they can't pull through and put a higher number in the win column.