Head coach Bob Huggins and fans of West Virginia basketball will get their first opportunity of the 2013-14 season to observe how the young group of Mountaineers respond after a loss. WVU was defeated 87-82 by Virginia Tech Tuesday afternoon in Blacksburg, Va.
“We just have so much youth,” Huggins said. “I’m not trying to make excuses, but you only have so much time. We’ve had to do a lot of stuff and try not to do it too fast.”
The Mountaineers will attempt to right their wrongs Sunday afternoon when the team hosts Duquesne in the WVU Coliseum. The Dukes, 1-1, took down West Virginia in the 2012-13 season 60-56, in a contest held at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
“I feel like we came out flat last year against Duquesne,” said junior guard Juwan Staten. “That’s one thing that we’re concentrating on –coming out and drawing first blood.”
West Virginia let a 17-point lead slip away in its loss to the Hokies Tuesday. The team shot just 35.7 percent from the field but hit on 11 of 24 three point attempts. Junior forward Remi Dibo led the Mountaineers with 17 points off the bench. WVU’s guard play added 41 points between Staten, Eron Harris and Gary Browne. The team’s efficiency, however, remains in question as the three combined for a 12 of 37 afternoon.
“I think everyone on this team can make shots,” Dibo said. “I think as we move along through the season, everybody can step out and can be the best shooter of that game.”
The talks around much of college basketball are the rule changes that have made a major impact on the game.
West Virginia and Virginia Tech combined for 53 fouls, 24 more than their meeting in the 2012-13 season. The rule changes resulted in 71 total foul shots Tuesday.
“I honestly think (the referees) are as confused as we are,” Huggins said. “It’s so dramatically different.”
West Virginia leads the all-time series against Duquesne 50-37, in 87 overall meetings. The Dukes hadn’t beaten the Mountaineers since 2002 before the 2012-13 victory.
The Mountaineers and Dukes tip off Sunday at 4 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum.