To say West Virginia's defense played well in Tuesday night's win over Baylor would be putting it lightly. The Mountaineers forced 29 turnovers (the most they have ever forced against a Big 12 team) and rattled Baylor, who had undoubtedly not seen anything like the Mountaineers' pressure on the season. So what enabled the Mountaineers to execute their court press so well? According to head coach Bob Huggins it was a matter of energy.
"(Assistant coach) Larry (Harrison) did a great job with the scout, X and O wise what hey were going to do," Huggins said. "JC (Jevon Carter) was terrific. I thought he had great ball pressure. Then we made some rotations. I thought our double-teams were better. Nate was really, really good. We had a lot of energy. When we have a lot of energy (the press) is a whole lot better."
Huggins then went on to explain that Jevon Carter spends more time watching film and spends more time in the gym than any other player (with the exception of James Long), so it's not much of a surprise to see the junior guard wreaking havoc on the Bears' guards. Huggins also praised the play of Nathan Adrian, who scored a career high 22 points in the win. Huggins stated that Adrian's best attribute could be his ability to guard in the open court, and the veteran head coach went on to say the Mountaineers' press wouldn't function nearly as well as it does without the senior forward and called him one of the best players in the Big 12 conference.
So how does it feel to beat the No.1 country in front of a sell-out crowd? Huggins admitted it meant something but stated that these wins should now start becoming expected. West Virginia has now knocked off the No.1 team in the country at the coliseum two years in a row.
"I said to (ESPN) there wasn't anybody in our locker room that didn't think we should win," Huggins said. "From the players to the managers, there was no one in our locker room that didn't think we should win. My hope is that we get to the point where it's expected. You know, rather than celebrating. I'm okay with the students celebrating, having fun. They were terrific tonight by the way. We just need to get them to do it all the time. But I want (big wins) to become expected. That's when we have arrived and we're pretty good."