Nothing Complex

TAMPA, Fla -- There was no major adjustment WVU needed to make at halftime of its second round NCAA Tournament game with Clemson. In fact, Mountaineer forward John Flowers said the message from the team's coaches at intermission was rather simple.

West Virginia trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, but rallied late to tie the game at 40-40 heading into the locker room. That half-ending 9-0 run may have saved the Mountaineers from the brunt of a Bob Huggins tirade.

Flowers said his head coach had a brief message for the players at halftime.

"We played more solid defense, did our defensive assignments," Flowers said of the biggest difference in WVU's play between the two halves. "That's basically what the halftime speech was about -- doing our defensive assignments and doing what we're taught to do."

A big reason for the Mountaineers' early struggles may have been the absence of Flowers, who picked up two fouls in the first four minutes of the contest and spent the vast majority of the half on the bench as a result.

That rarely bodes well for West Virginia, as Flowers is the team's leader in plus/minus ratio. He was a plus-214 for the season coming into Thursday afternoon's game. Thus, it is pivotal that he avoids foul trouble.

"I know I can help my team more if I stay out of foul trouble," Flowers said of his time on the bench in the first half. "That's been a struggle for me all year ... it was frustrating to sit over there and watch my team fight and there's nothing I can do about it. I hate that."

Flowers discussed those matters and others in this interview in the team locker room just after the Mountaineers finished off their 84-76 win over Clemson.

John Flowers Interview

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