There are few coaches in the country that give as good of a quote as Bob Huggins, and after what he termed the worst performance from one of his teams in 30 years of coaching, it should come as no surprise that we got some gold from the West Virginia head coach.
When asked about the performance of Jabarie Hinds, Huggins said that he wanted to leave the freshman point guard in to see if he could set the school record for misses in a game. “I don’t know what the school record was for misses, but if I had left him in there long enough, he would have had a chance,” Huggins said.
The fiery coach had every reason to be upset.
Having lost five of their last seven games coming in and with the bubble’s cut line getting a little to close for comfort, one would have expected a team that embraces their coach’s personality to put up a fight on the road. Instead, the ‘Eers allowed No. 20 Notre Dame to use a 23-6 run at the outset of the second half to open up a 19 point lead en route 71-44 win. It was the worst loss suffered by a West Virginia team since 2005, when the Mountaineers lost by 38 to Villanova, and the worst from a Bob Huggins coached team since a 27 point loss to Kansas back when he was coaching Kansas State. The 44 points were the fewest West Virginia has scored since a 39 point performance against Cincinnati in 2008.
I don’t think he’s too far off in saying this was the worst any performance he’s ever seen from one of his teams, and, as Huggins put it, “I’ve had some bad teams when I first got to places.”
Notre Dame isn’t a secret anymore. They are right there with Marquette when it comes to the second best team in the Big East.
The question we must now ask is just how good is West Virginia? They’ve now lost six of eight and fallen to 17-11 overall and 7-8 in the Big East. With a home date against Marquette and a trip to South Florida still on the docket, 10 leagues loss is very much a possibility.
This isn’t last year’s Big East. You aren’t going to be dancing with 10 league losses and 13 losses overall.
Whether or not the ‘Eers are capable of turning this around is a different story. The most worrisome part of this loss is that West Virginia wasn’t able to stop the bleeding. There was no response when Notre Dame started to go on their run. There was no resistance defensively. West Virginia got punched in the mouth, and instead of punching back they simply accepted the knock out blow, getting dropped quicker than a boxer throwing a fight.
That’s not what you want to see out of a team trying to make a statement late in the season.