Harris Frustrated After Struggles vs. OSU

For much of this season, Eron Harris has been outstanding for West Virginia as the consistent scorer on the perimeter that this team has been searching for the last few seasons.

In the early portion of the year, he emerged as one of the most dangerous scorers in the Big 12 Conference. He has shot the ball well from the outside, has been able to get to the rim and convert in the lane and has taken advantage of his chances from the free throw line.

Entering Saturday's game against No. 11 Oklahoma State, Harris was second in the conference, averaging 18.5 points per game, and was making better than 44 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

But things didn't go quite that way Saturday as Harris finished the game with a frustrating performance, and an even more frustrating 73-72 loss to the Cowboys at the Coliseum.

Harris went 3-of-11 from the field, while making only one of his six tries from 3-point range. He also committed three turnovers and admitted after the game that he tried to force things.

The sophomore also played 13 of his 28 minutes in the second half, and found himself on the bench for the majority of the final minutes as West Virginia tried to work its way back in the game against the Cowboys.

"I'm really down on myself because I feel like I could have helped the team a little bit more today," Harris said.

"I did the worst thing I could do, get down on myself. I tried to force a couple plays and caused turnovers."

It's been a rough stretch as of late for Harris, who has started Big 12 play averaging 17 points per game, but hasn't been as consistent shooting the ball as he would like to be - especially from beyond the arc.

In his last two games, Harris has shot just 23 percent from 3-point range. When it gets to a time like that, Huggins' advice to his shooter has, and has always been, to keep shooting it.

"I thought he was pretty bad against Texas Tech, and he still got 18," Huggins said. "He's a guy who doesn't seem like it bothers him (to miss) as much as it does some other people. Missing a shot bothers Terry Henderson more than it bothers Eron Harris. Guys that can score have that mentality, they just figure that if they miss one, they'll make the next one. Eron's a lot that way.

"Some guys have a little more conscience, that may not be the correct word but that's kind of what it is. Some guys worry about making shots, and others just know they're going to make the next one."

As for the Mountaineers' loss to Oklahoma State Saturday, it was even more frustrating for Harris when paired with his personal struggles because he saw how close they were. Once again, they showed they could be there with any team.

"We had the game right there, it was there for us. Think about what they did," he said. "They hit the shot to win the game and we missed it ... That team didn't beat us, we beat ourselves. Every time we lose like this, we beat ourselves."

It's another example of the Mountaineers coming up short of being able to get over the hump and pull off a big win against a good team. And another squandered shot at a resume win for the postseason.

"Maybe some people aren't used to winning and aren't used to being that guy that won the big game or being the team that wins that big game. Some people are scared to be great like that, and that's a hump we have to get over," Harris said. "It's a mental thing. At the end of the game, can you be as confident as you are the beginning of the game? In big games, are you as confident as you are in the small games? I think that great players aren't scared to be great.

"I've got confidence, and if we get that big win we've been looking for, it's going to take us over the top mentally. You'll see a new team once we get that good win."

BlueGoldNews Top Stories