Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 15, 2013

Column: Top player in Huggins' doghouse

By MICKEY FURFARI
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

MORGANTOWN — Stringing together some odds and ends:

Juwan Staten, 6-foot-1 sophomore guard, was in Coach

Bob Huggins’ doghouse last Saturday. That’s why the youngster did not see action in the West Virginia men’s 65-64 basketball loss to Kansas State.

…Asked why Staten didn’t play, Huggins said sternly: “He’s going to be on the same page with me or he’s not going to play anymore. … Ironically, Staten is a transfer from Dayton and was leading in double-digit scoring games with nine. He also leads the team in play-making with 41 assist.

Beside Staten, who’s averaging 10.5 points per game, Aaric Murray is the only other scorer averaging double digits at 10.6 points per game. The 6-foot-10, 245 pound junior center also is the leading rebounder with a total of 105 for 15 games. …

Speaking of rebounding, The Mountaineers managed to pull down a mere four rebounds in the first half of the Kansas State contest. Could that be some sort of reward? But they did much better on the boards in the final 20 minutes to finish with only a 27-28 deficit for the game. …

Consistency, or lack thereof, has been one of the West Virginia men’s problem most of the season so far… Playing dogging defense, however, appears to be a constant during the year’s disappointing start. The effort against Kansas State seemed very good. …

So did the Mountaineers goaling accuracy… They made 51.1 percent from the field (24-47), while the Wildcats shot 51.0 percent (25 of 49)… It was at the foul line that probably cost WVU the game. It made only 12 of 22 free throws. …

Coach Huggins said after that game his players shoot more free throws in practice each day than most collegiate teams do. Some of them say it’s mostly a matter of concentration and focus. …

The men’s best scoring balance by far popped up in the season’s Game 5. No fewer than seven scorers finished in double figures in a 94-69 victory against Virginia Military Institute at the Coliseum. That certainly was a rarity…

Three games earlier, WVU had four players with 10 or more points in a 87-44 blowout of Marist in the ESPN Marathon. But in the other 13 games played to date, three or two were double-digit scorers…

Huggins readily admits that “We’re not getting out of some people what we need to get out of them. I’m not going to lie about.” Leaving your top scorer and rebounder sitting on the bench is a problem that obviously needs a solution, the sooner the better…

Sixty former WVU basketball players were back for their second alumni reunion last weekend for the Kansas State contest. They were introduced, one by one, to the crowd during halftime.

Barbara Schaus, the widow of Coach Fred Schaus, was escorted by Pete White at the end of the line to a loud ovation… Schaus still is the all-time winnings mentor from 1955-60.