Lack of...Something

Whether West Virginia's problem is one of effort, learning or execution, it's clear that there's not 100% buy-in from the players on this year's squad.

After detailing some of the problems that led to West Virginia's loss to Oklahoma State, senior Matt Humphrey admitted that he did not know if the entire team was following what leaders exist on this team. He did single out Kevin Noreen as one of those who did lead by example, and said that he did not think the squad has tuned out the coaching staff, whose repeated instructions, teachings and complaints have apparently fallen on deaf ears.

There's much evidence to the contrary, of course. Players that get removed from the game often walk past the coaches without acknowledging what is being said. They repeat the same mistakes over and over. They don't assimilate lessons well. Scouting reports might as well be throwaway comic books, for all the attention that is paid to them. This team might be "the nicest guys you'll ever want to meet" as Huggins has said on many occasions, but it's also a group that displays, as a team, as much personal investment in the game as Allen Iverson did about practice.

Noreen, for his part, was critical of himself for not filling that leadership role as well as he thinks he should, but was also of the opinion that some players aren't paying the attention they should, and that there has been a failure to listen to everything the coaches have said.

"I'll take some blame, there have been days when I haven't given my all, and that's not acceptable," Noreen said. "You can't make everybody follow you, but if you can get a couple of guys to get on board, then a couple more, those that don't get left behind."

To be clear, Noreen was in no way pointing the finger at others on the team without including himself. His first comments were on his perceived shortcomings in the leadership department. But it's clear that the current losing streak and disappointing season is weighing heavily on him, and that he's doing everything he can to turn it around.

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