DePaul Blue Demons vs. West Virginia Mountaineers – Tuesday, February 28th, 6 p.m. Central – Morgantown, West Virginia
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Huggins vents after Mountaineers blow 15-point lead
Close loses and sloppy play have gotten to coach Bob Huggins as his West Virginia Mountaineers limp toward the post-season, not yet knowing if it has done enough to make the NCAA Tournament.
"This is as frustrated as I've been since my first year at Walsh College when I went home and asked my wife, 'Do you think I can sell insurance? Because I can't do this,'" he said. "I can't lose like this. It eats me up. I can't do it. These guys, it doesn't seem to bother them much."
That comment came after his team blew a 15-point second-half lead Feb. 24 and lost to Marquette at home, 61-60, the Mountaineers' seventh loss in nine games.
It is more how his team is playing that is bothering him than the losses themselves.
"I've been doing this 30 years, man, and people who have seen my teams play, we never got outmanned like we got outmanned (against Marquette). We never got outmanned. Never!"
He questioned his young players' courage, dedication and commitment.
"I've never had a guy get out of the way and not take a charge. I've never had that," Huggins began. "I don't get it, man. I just don't.
"I despise cowards," he continued, repeating the term. "I despise cowards. Somebody who, somebody who has an opportunity to play at the highest level of major college basketball who's afraid to step in front of a guy and take a charge?"
"I mean, that's, to me, that's just, I can't, I can't fathom that. I can't fathom accepting a scholarship and not, and not compete."
Free throws have been costly for West Virginia
--West Virginia has hurt itself with its free throw shooting all season, ranking next to last in the Big East with a .661 percentage. Only Cincinnati is worse.
--Marquette had never won in Morgantown before capturing a 61-60 decision on Feb. 24.
BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- The number of losses WVU has suffered this season at the Coliseum. They have not lost as many since 2003 when they also lost five. In 2002 the Mountaineers lost eight at home. Overall, WVU is 467-134 for a .777 winning percentage.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--vs. DePaul, February 28th
KEY MATCHUPS: DePaul has played improved basketball, if not winning basketball, and would like to close strong. With both teams playing hard defense, it figures to be a sloppy affair. It is Senior Night at West Virginia, so expect an emotion sendoff to F Kevin Jones, who ranks among the all-time greats at the school, and G Truck Bryant. DePaul plays a pressing defense and likes to run with sophomores F Cleveland Melvin and G Brandon Young being among the best young players in the league.
--Senior F Kevin Jones gathered his 1,000th career rebound during the Notre Dame game on Feb. 22 to become just the third player in WVU history to score 1,500 points and collect 1,000 rebounds. The other two were the legendary Jerry West and Warren Baker. Jones and West are the only two players with 1,700 points and 1,000 rebounds in school history.
--Senior G Truck Bryant broke out of a troubling shooting slump to score 25 points in a 61-60 loss to No. 10 Marquette. Bryant had hit only 10 of his last 45 shots and was just 3 for 20 from 3-point range over the previous four games but he went 5 for 9 from the floor while hitting 3 of 7 3s in the Marquette loss.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown
12 Aaron Brown F 6-5 220 Fr. Darby, Pa.
14 Gary Browne G 6-1 185 Fr. Cupey, Puerto Rico
25 Darryl Bryant G 6-2 195 Sr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
22 Aric Dickerson G 6-5 180 Fr. Chicago, Ill.
20 Pat Forsythe C 6-11 240 Fr. Brunswick, Ohio
4 Jabarie Hinds G 5-11 175 Fr. Mount Vernon, N.Y.
5 Kevin Jones F 6-8 260 Sr. Mount Vernon, N.Y.
13 Deniz Kilicli F 6-9 260 Jr. Istanbul, Turkey
23 Tommie McCune F 6-8 205 Fr. Saginaw, Mich.
55 Keaton Miles F 6-6 205 Fr. Dallas, Texas
24 Aaric Murray C 6-10 240 Jr. Philadelphia, Pa.
34 Kevin Noreen F 6-10 245 r-Fr. Minneapolis, Minn.
1 Dominique Rutledge F 6-8 240 Jr. Newark, N.J.
3 Juwan Staten G 6-1 190 So. Dayton, Ohio
32 Paul Williamson G 6-3 195 Fr. Harts, W.Va.
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