The numbers don’t lie, West Virginia has been off to a rocky start to begin the 2012-13 season.
Following a Wednesday night thumping of VMI, the Mountaineers improved to 2-3 on the young season, snapping a two-game losing skid in the process.
So, when does West Virginia turn on the panic button? The answer is now.
In addition to their victory over VMI, the Mountaineers only other win on the year came against Marist as part of last week’s Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida. In their three losses, West Virginia has simply been outworked, seemingly lost at times with leadership becoming a big question mark.
First year contributors Juwan Staten and Aaric Murray lead the squad in points per game, each averaging a hair over ten per contest. Senior forward Deniz Kilicli has been “okay” to say the least averaging 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. With that being said, head coach Bob Huggins needs more from his Mountaineers.
Foul trouble, especially for Murray, has continued to present rotation issues. What might be the most intriguing stat from the team’s numbers through the first five games is their balance.
Staten, who is averaging 29.4 minutes per game, is the only member of the team playing more than 23 minutes per contest. Is the rotation affecting their flow and those who are on the court from exceeding?
It has become heavily apparent through West Virginia’s first five games that the losses of both Kevin Jones and Daryl “Truck” Bryant were more than this squad was ready for.
The Mountaineers have the talent and depth to compete within the upper half of the Big 12 Conference, but these issues need to be solved as soon as possible.
Who will step up for West Virginia moving forward? Where will their leadership come from? We can only wait and see at this point.
WVU will hit the court again on on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from Charleston, West Virginia for an in-state battle against Marshall.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS