MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — West Virginia men’s basketball remains undefeated after winning a 75-57 rout over Morehead State on Tuesday.
While Mountaineer fans were likely satisfied with the comfortable win at the WVU Coliseum, Bob Huggins still saw much to be desired from his team. Here’s what the Hall of Famer had to say.
Protecting the ball
Huggins was clear in the preseason that his team struggled to secure the ball. That was apparent in the season opener when WVU gave up 18 turnovers. That has gotten better in the two games since, as the Mountaineers gave up possession 21 times against Pitt and Morehead State.
The trend didn’t seem so encouraging at the outset of Tuesday’s game, however, as WVU lost the ball in five of its first six possessions.
“We’ve been careless with it pretty much all year to start games for whatever reason,” Huggins said. “That’s something we’re going to have to work harder on.”
WVU tightened up in the rest of the game and had just five turnovers over its final 61 possessions, helping the team finish the rout over the Eagles.
The Mountaineers’ trip to Portland might not have the luxury of a blowout scoreline to excuse that opening stretch, as the team will face Purdue with possible meetings against No. 2 Gonzaga and No. 7 Duke on the other end of that.
Tre is heating up
Transfer wing Tre Mitchell has been strong on the offensive end for West Virginia, scoring double-digits in all three of his appearances. He got his first start of the season against Morehead State, scoring a game-high 21 points while shooting 80 percent from the field.
Mitchell missed the entire preseason as he recovers from a surgery he underwent exactly six weeks prior to WVU’s upcoming clash against Penn on Friday.
“He didn’t play for two and a half, three months,” Huggins said. “He’s still now not in very good shape.”
Still, his emergence has been no surprise to Huggins, who expects the transfer from Texas to keep getting better.
“As he continues to get in shape, I think he will continue to get better and better,” he said. “I think you’re seeing why we were excited about getting him.”
Finishing around the rim remains an issue
West Virginia finished the game with a 46.8 field goal percentage and 42 of its 75 points came from the paint. Their performance left a lot to be desired inside, though, as the team missed 13 of their 34 attempts in the lane.
“It’s a disease. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Huggins said. “I’ve never had a team like that. I tell them that every day. I’ve never had a team miss more layups than what this team does.”
With an upcoming matchup against Purdue’s Zach Edey on the docket, Huggins wants to see some growth in that area.
“Now, we’re getting ready to go play a 7-foot-4 guy,” he said. “Think about where they’re going to be looking then.”