"Because of sheer numbers a year ago, particularly with our post guys, we were trying to save energy, which we shouldn't have to do,'' Huggins said. "There were a lot of times we had to wait for Deniz to get down the floor.
"We don't want to do that now. We should be able to run harder in transition. We were just awful in transition a year ago. It's so hard to play when you don't get any easy baskets.''
One player Huggins can't count on right away is sophomore Volodymyr Gerun, who will sit out the first six games after the NCAA determined he played three games for a professional team in the Ukraine in 2011 prior to his enrollment at West Virginia.
The 6-foot-10 Gerun averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks at the under-18 European Championships last year.
Kilicli, a native of Turkey, can relate to Gerun, both in being homesick, having to sit out games and trying to learn the English language.
Kilicli was benched for the first 20 games of the 2009-10 season for playing on a Turkish team that included a professional player, which isn't allowed under NCAA rules.
"I'm trying to help him as much as I can from my experience when I was a freshman,'' Kilicli said of Gerun. "I was like, I've been there, and anytime you want to talk to me, you can talk to me.''
West Virginia opens the season Nov. 12 at No. 21 Gonzaga, which eliminated the Mountaineers from last season's NCAA tournament. The 77-54 loss was WVU's worst in the tournament since losing to Maryland by 25 in 1984.
he Mountaineers open Big 12 play Jan. 5 against Oklahoma.
West Virginia is picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big 12, and Murray is eager to turn heads in the new conference.
"We can prove everybody wrong this year,'' Murray said.