A Break from the Routine

Over the course of a college basketball season, teams tend to get into a routine.

You always have a game on the weekend, followed by a couple days in between your next game. The practice schedule is similar and things don't change too much in most cases.

But there are occasional periods like West Virginia has this week when teams get a full week between games - giving players a much-needed breather from the pressures that come up in the middle of conference play.

While it's good to get some a few extra days, WVU head coach Bob Huggins and his staff are still trying to do what they can to keep things, for the most part, the way their players are used to going about their business.

"You kind of get in the rhythm of playing every three days or so," Huggins said Monday on the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference. "We obviously took yesterday off and today we're going to go about an hour, just doing some individual stuff. Then we'll get back to what we normally do."

Getting back to that normal routine as the Mountaineers prepare to head into the final handful of games on the 2013-14 schedule is going to be important as they are still trying to make their case for postseason play.

"We're pretty accustomed to practicing two days and playing, then practicing a few days and playing again with a day off somewhere in between," Huggins said. "We generally play with two days of practice and I don't worry about it too much."

Heading into Saturday's home game against Baylor, West Virginia is 15-11 and 7-6 in Big 12 Conference play with five games remaining on the schedule. With its RPI currently sitting at No. 69 in the country after last Saturday's loss to No. 19 Texas, WVU will likely need every win it can get down the stretch in order to solidify its resume.

Huggins makes sure he talks with his team about where they stand and the work that still needs to be done in order for them to accomplish their goals of making it back to the postseason - and perhaps even an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament that not many people expected was a possibility a few weeks ago.

The chance to make their case is here though, as four of the Mountaineers' five remaining games in the regular season are against teams in the top 50.

"Why wouldn't we think about the NCAA tournament?" Huggins asked. "We're right there, we've just got to win some more games. We talk with them about the RPI.

"I've always been very honest with our guys. Fortunately, most years that's been about a seed rather than whether we're getting in or not."

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