The notion of West Virginia living and dying with the jump shot has never been more evident than after its 80-69 loss to the Texas Longhorns Monday night.
On the evening, the Mountaineers were only able to convert 4 of 25 3-point attempts, good for 16 percent.
WVU head coach Bob Huggins said he felt his team took good shots and were given good chances, but those attempts simply didn’t fall in that particular game against the Longhorns.
“Did you ever go 4-for-25? It drains your energy,” Huggins said. “We didn’t make shots. If you make shots, you play harder, and if you don’t, you put your head down. We just didn’t make them.”
Huggins said he didn’t question his team’s work ethic in the game, but his team’s inability to have a legitimate scoring weapon really made the team suffer as a whole.
“We took makeable shots,” he said. “For some reason we have started pump-faking when we’re open and dribbling into people when we’re not. I don’t understand the value in that.”
Huggins said he was unsure if his team relies on the 3-point shot. It’s difficult to say if the Mountaineers can truly have an efficient offense without relying on average-to-good perimeter shooting, but in Monday’s affair, Huggins’ team needed buckets in the second half to cut into a double-digit Texas lead.
“I don’t know if we do (rely on the 3-point shot),” Huggins said. “When you’re 4-for-25, obviously, I’m not sure if shooting inside the 3 would have made us any better. When it’s short any time, it’s going be short probably all the time.”
There was question on whether the Mountaineers’ shooting woes were due to the quick turnaround from the heartbreaking defeat to No. 11 Oklahoma State two days prior, but Huggins said there really wasn’t much of a disadvantage, because Texas also had a game Saturday night.
“We were here yesterday,” Huggins said. “We watched a lot of film, we walked through some stuff, and we practiced a little. “They weren’t on their feet more than an hour. They were bouncy. I don’t think that they were tired.
“What I get a kick out of is that they all want to play in the NBA. As we know, they play 82 games in the NBA and maybe 100 if you’re in the playoffs. When our season is over they haven’t even reached the All-Star break. I know the game is longer and faster, too. So, if they can’t do this, they won’t be able to play in the NBA.”
Whether it was just a matter of being tired of having an off shooting day, one thing to keep any eye on will be how the jump shot will affect results in the upcoming games for the Mountaineers.