WVU’s “refuse to lose” mentality responsible for 11-1 start

WVU Basketball

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU men’s basketball’s road trip to the Lone Star State will now be for just one game as TCU has paused all team activities due to COVID-19. The Mountaineers were scheduled to face the Horned Frogs Jan. 3.

However, Big 12 Conference play will still begin Saturday against No. 17 Texas. The Longhorns are 10-2 overall, while the Mountaineers sit at 11-1 and currently ride an eight-game winning streak. During that span, WVU has held all but one opponent under 60 points. UT is averaging 72.1 per contest.

West Virginia last played over a week ago, an 82-52 victory over Youngstown State. In an exclusive interview for this weekend’s edition of The Bob Huggins Show, the head coach said his team returned from the holiday break ready to go.

“They came back great. They are excited about the conference season starting,” he said.

Huggins will be the first to admit he wasn’t sure what his team would be capable of this season, but despite all the unknowns and newcomers on his squad, he isn’t surprised his team has 11 wins for one reason.

“I’ve never really looked at it like we were playing to lose,” he said on the show. “I think our guys have done a great job of competing. We haven’t played well, haven’t shot the ball well. We had two guys shoot the ball extremely well. The rest of our guys have not shot it well and have not taken care of it the way we need to take care of the ball. But their competitiveness has carried us. Everybody wants to talk about refuse to lose — they have that refuse to lose.”

Those two consistent scorers are guards Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil, averaging 20.9 and 14.0 points per game respectively. Huggins knew what that duo could accomplish. It’s the other players in increased roles and new to the team who are standing out.

“Keddy [Johnson] has done a terrific job on the ball to take people out of things they want to do. We’ve gotten more out of our bigs defensively than I think anyone thought was possible. I think our guys have done a heck of a job,” he said.

West Virginia opens league play with a New Year’s Day matinee. Tipoff at Texas is scheduled for noon ET on ESPNU.

You can watch the exclusive interview with the head coach previewing the league opener this weekend on a brand new episode of The Bob Huggins Show. Check your local listings for more details.

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