MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A sold-out WVU Coliseum crowd was sent home disappointed after the Mountaineers fell to 7th-ranked Texas in a physical, and at times sloppy, battle.
Bob Huggins was frustrated after the loss, which came on the heels of the team’s first Big 12 win of the season. Here’s what the coach had to say.
On WVU’s ball security…
WVU completed one of its shakiest games of the season, tying the yearly high in giveaways. That was a particular point of frustration for Huggins.
“You can’t turn the ball over 20 times. We talked about that earlier in the year and said we were going to fix it,” he said. “We had it down to where we were turning it over maybe six times a game which wasn’t good, but it’s way better than 20. Now we’re back to 20 and not even playing against pressure. We just throw the ball to the wrong team.”
Huggins was particularly upset by the turnovers because, in his view, most of them were unforced.
“If you want to make a recipe for losing, just go back and look at our last 10 minutes because we just dropped balls. They didn’t take them from us. We dropped them,” Huggins said.
On Joe Toussaint’s playing time…
WVU’s top guard off the bench played 11 minutes on Saturday and just four in the second half. That was a mistake, Huggins said.
“It’s my fault. I was kind of caught up in, ‘Did we play Keddy too much? Should I have got him a little be more?’ and which one of our guys, Erik [Stevenson] or Seth [Wilson] was going to make a shot because neither one of them were making shots.”
Toussaint averages 22.9 minutes off the bench, the fifth-most on the team.
“100 percent my fault and Joe deserves to play. Joe deserves to play a lot of minutes, we have guys that don’t deserve minutes. They haven’t earned minutes,” he said.
On his duty to WVU fans…
A native West Virginian and former Mountaineer player himself, Huggins said losses like these particularly sting. Not just because of the stain on the team’s season record, but because of what the team means to the fans who follow it.
“It’s frustrating. What kills me is I sat here and said, ‘We’ll fix it.’ The people in the state of West Virginia, I told them that we’ll fix it and I thought we were on the road to fixing it. Obviously, we’re not. It’s frustrating. I’m not the kind of person that wants to let people down. It hurts me to let people down. I feel like I’ve let [down] the great fans in this state. We had 14,100 and something people here to play like that. I would have thought we would be really jacked up for it. I didn’t see a lot of emotion or enthusiasm,” Huggins said.