Saturday, March 2, 2013

WVU coach Bob Huggins: Mountaineers’ faults led to blowout

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins rubs his mouth during a Jayhawk run on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins rubs his mouth during a Jayhawk run on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over WVU

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 91-65 victory over West Virginia on March 2, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Ben McLemore, Elijah Johnson, Jeff Withey

Kansas players Ben McLemore, Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 91-65 victory over West Virginia on March 2, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

WVU coach Bob Huggins

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins talks after KU's 91-65 victory on March 2, 2013.

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Box score


A few minutes after watching his team get drubbed by Kansas University's men's basketball team, 91-65, at Allen Fieldhouse, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins offered up a tennis analogy to explain what went wrong.

“We committed unforced errors,” Huggins said.

While that certainly was the case, particularly during the decisive run that turned a one-point WVU lead into a 14-point KU edge at halftime, there were a few more tennis terms that might have better described this one.

Lob. Smash. Game-Set-Match.

Behind a handful of high-flying alley-oops and more than a dozen back-breaking plays on both offense and defense, the Jayhawks (25-4 overall, 13-3 Big 12) ran the Mountaineers out of the gym during WVU's first trip to Lawrence as members of the Big 12.

“We're not good enough to get down by 10 or 12 or 14 to a team as good as they are,” Huggins said. “We don't have enough offensive firepower to be able to come back.”

Of all the things that went wrong for West Virginia, the Jayhawks' second-half onslaught of alley-oops was what really stuck in the minds of the dejected Mountaineers. Whether it was Ben McLemore, Travis Releford, Kevin Young or Elijah Johnson on the finishing end, KU's successful lobs added insult to injury for the visitors.

“It's still just two points, but it did a lot for their momentum,” said forward Dominique Rutledge, whose team was out-dunked 8-1. “We can live with a team that's making shots, but if they're getting to the basket and getting alley-oops that easily, it's only gonna go downhill from there.”

It's fitting that many of KU's alley-oops came in transition because that was the other area in which the Mountaineers (13-16, 6-10) said the game got away from them.

“They kind of sped us up,” Rutledge said. “And I felt like they did a good job of hitting shots in transition. That hurt us a lot and kind of took us out of our element: slow, physical play.”

McLemore had a lot to do with that. En route to scoring a career-high 36 points, which broke KU's single-game scoring record for freshman previously held by Danny Manning (35), McLemore had a lot of room to work and plenty of choices.

“He had a good shooting night,” said freshman guard Terry Henderson, who actually outdid McLemore's 5-of-6 showing from three-point range by hitting six of nine. “Great players are gonna have good nights. We didn't get into him like we wanted to, like we were supposed to.”

Asked how they had planned to guard McLemore, Henderson described the complete opposite of what unfolded.

“Just pressure him,” he said. “Make him uncomfortable. We really didn't do a good job of that with anybody on the court."


David Robinett 8 years ago

I don't know why folks are excited to be the first post, but here goes!

Steve Gantz 8 years ago

Lots of assists tonight makes for pretty basketball and winning basketball. 29 of 34 baskets were assisted. I just checked some of our higher scoring games and we haven't had this many in any game.

Boouk 8 years ago

I'm a big Baylor fan tonight.

gchawk 8 years ago

One of the few times that I am too.

VailHawk 8 years ago

Great game! I can't seem to find the game message board?

Chuck Wagstaff 8 years ago

One key you forgot, Huggy. You got out-coached. Again.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years ago

Huggins is a hall of fame coach and one of the better active coaches in College BBall; he just does not have the players to compete with KU.

Ethan Berger 8 years ago

When was the last time we had 1 guy have 3 30 point games in a season? Bill lit a fire under Bens butt in the first half. Ben used the pumped will and scored well enough of the dribble. I wont mind Ej and Ben trading off career nights.

monkeehawkSL8 8 years ago

Lets keep those butt fires burning.

AQM37 8 years ago

One interesting thing... at AFH they mentioned on the video board during Tyler Self's "Pop-Up Video" segment how KU had mastered the Alley Oop. Shortly thereafter, we went Alley Oop crazy. Almost as if it had been planned from the start!

leonard 8 years ago

On a side note concerning "faults"...guess who refereed in the KSU/Baylor game?

Yep...Bert of the three blind mice from our game with ISU.

Since that debacle the 3 blind mice have rolled merrily along...officiating almost every night. Tom O'Neill has worked 3 of the next 5 nights...Bert Smith 4 of the next 5...and Mark Whitehead 4 of the next 5. However, only Smith's was a Big12 game.

Yeah, I get it...their abysmal performance in the KU/ISU game and "supposed" jeopardy for future assignments is only officially in the Big12. But it will matter little. These guys referee 80-90 games a year. If...and it's a big if...their future Big12 assignments are reduced they'll simply fill those open dates in other conferences. The good ole boy network will see to that.

Mike Barnhart 8 years ago

West Virginia is the Big 12's new Colorado; a million miles away and gawd awful!

addlime 8 years ago

WVU is definitely having an off year this year, but I wonder how much of it is due to the crazy travel. Conference realignment is terrible for the students, the athletes, and the fans, but the powers that be only care about the dollar. When are the priorities going to change?

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