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Huggins is Brutally Honest With Current State of WVU Basketball

West Virginia has a lot to figure out to get back on track.

West Virginia suffered its second straight loss on Tuesday evening falling to Baylor, 77-68. For the majority of the game, the Mountaineers hung in and survived two big swings from Baylor before things got out of reach late.

"I thought our effort was fine," said head coach Bob Huggins in his postgame radio interview. "This team, for whatever reason, just continues to miss layup after layup after layup and we can't win like that. Actually, they put that square up there so you can put the ball in that square and it comes down and goes in."

It's a hard stat to believe but the Mountaineers converted just 7 of 22 layups on the night. Their inability to finish at the rim alone cost them a golden opportunity for a signature win. Going back to the Kansas game last Saturday, WVU is now 15/42 (35%) on layups. Not all layups are created equal of course as jump hooks near the basket are considered a layup on the stat sheet, as well as all other shots from within three feet. Still, to only shoot 35% that close to the basket is a big problem. It would be one thing if it was just one big that had trouble finishing, but it's a global issue with this team. No one has done it consistently.

Also during his chat with Dan Zangrilli and Jay Jacobs, Huggins mentioned how this team needs to get in the gym more often. 

"We've got kind of a logjam with our bigs and everyone comes in and says why ain't I playing? Well, why don't you play better? It's very simple. We've got to get better. We've gone through this before. I don't know if I'm suppose to say this but I hear the ball bouncing downstairs and I get up and I look and it's Kevin Jones. It's Devin Williams. It's Alex Ruoff. It's Juwan Staten. I don't see our guys in there. When you miss an enormous amount of layups and we really struggled at the free throw line before the last couple games and they're not in there shooting free throws, this is going to happen."

When you look up and down the roster, it is hard to point out who exactly is in charge of this team as the leader. Taz Sherman and Gabe Osabuohien would be my guess but the one thing you don't see from this team that we've seen in years past is a guy that holds others accountable. Jevon Carter, Daxter Miles Jr., Nathan Adrian, those guys would get up in their teammates' grill if they were slacking. Those guys lived in the gym and for Carter, it turned him into an NBA player. Coming out of high school, Carter's only Power Five offer was WVU. He was overlooked, under-recruited, but he worked harder than anyone in the country because he knew he had to. 

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The other issue for West Virginia is scoring the ball consistently. They haven't been able to run efficient half-court offense all year. It's very stagnant with hardly any ball movement and cutting action to the basket. This is what having an inexperienced team still trying to figure things out in the middle of the season looks like.

"We don't pass the ball very well. It's hard to run good offense without being able to pass the ball. And let's be honest, we've got a couple of guys that if you throw it to them, you probably need to run and get it back.

"When you play in a league like this that has really, really good players and terrific coaching and we're kind of playing with a bunch of bigs that really don't know our system. You look at that crew [Baylor] down there, they've been together and it makes a heck of a difference. If you think about the good teams that we've had here and the teams that have been together and know each other. I mean, how do you throw a ball to a guy that has his back turned to you? Those things are hard to understand but again, you're talking about guys who haven't been here."

Fortunately for WVU, there is still a lot of season left. However, seven of their final thirteen games are against ranked opponents, including four of their next five conference games. If they want to punch a ticket to the big dance, they must find a way to avoid a 2nd half meltdown. 

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