'We Have To Win Two'

Marquette head coach Buzz Williams did a little jig near midcourt, as a defeated West Virginia team slumped off the floor. That's just the type of season it's been.

Now, it's gut check time.

"You talk to a couple of these guys, and they'll bullshit you," said WVU head coach Bob Huggins. "They'll say the right thing, but do they mean it? They'll jog down the floor, but do they mean it? .. I don't think so."

A handful of WVU students charged toward Williams' general area before being held back by police and security.

It seems the 2011-12 season has unraveled.

The Mountaineers have lost seven of their last nine games after Friday night's 61-60 loss to No. 10 Marquette. Just a month ago, West Virginia was considered a lock for the NCAA tournament. That sure seems like a long time ago.

The Mountaineers are on the verge of having their bubble popped with two regular season games to play vs. DePaul on Tuesday at the WVU Coliseum and at South Florida at the end of next week.

WVU no longer has a sure bet quality win on its slate unless it makes its way through the Big East Conference tournament – and based on the way this team has played recently you can bet that won't happen.

"I despise cowards," Huggins said. "I can't fathom accepting a scholarship and not competing … This is as frustrated as I've been since my first year at Walsh College. I can't lose like this. I just cant.

Huggins saw the lack of know how and commitment to the game in this losing stretch. He has seen his team take a nose dive – one that he hasn't experienced in a long, long time.

Unless that changes, this season is done.

"If I'm a freshman, I'm looking and (senior forward) Kevin Jones and everything that he has done for this program, and I'm saying that I will do anything that I can do to make sure that he ends his career the right way," Huggins said.

WVU still has an opportunity to get to the NCAA tournament, but it can't mess around anymore. It must win games now. There's no other way around it.

With confidence shaky, as Jones admits, it's going to be a challenge.

"If we win these next two games, we will be an NCAA tournament team, but as of now and the way we're playing, we're not an NCAA tournament team," Jones said. "We've got two games to pull it together … I don't feel comfortable and won't. We've got to keep fighting. It's going to take a lot, a whole lot, for us to get to the NCAA tournament … I'm not going to give up. My teammates aren't going to give up. I won't let them." Senior guard Truck Bryant said WVU wouldn't lose another regular season game.

It's hard to believe him right now based on the recent slump.

But, we'll see if the Mountaineer still have fight left in them on Tuesday … or if it was all talk Friday after the game.

"It's a panic. We have to win two," Bryant said.
-----


Follow @BlueGoldNews for complete coverage of WVU athletics.


For more from Tony Dobies, subscribe to the Blue & Gold News print edition: http://bit.ly/SubscribeToBGN


BlueGoldNews Top Stories