"We've got to do a better job of keeping balls alive and finishing around the goal. We missed 11 shots inside of three feet. We've got to do a better job.''
The problem with playing well inside and taking advantage of offensive rebounds becomes even more acute as the Mountaineers continue in conference play. Most of WVU's Big 12 opponents have at least one or two big men who thrive in those circumstances. Oklahoma doesn't, yet still managed to win far too many inside battles.
"I love Oklahoma's bigs, but they're not shot blockers. They're very skilled guys who shot the ball well against us with range and can put it on the floor,'' Huggins said. "But they're not like people we're going to play against here in the next few games that are among the leaders in blocked shots and changing shots. There's just not a lot of reasons why we miss the easy ones we miss.''
There are other problems, too, of course. The Mountaineers are not only last in the Big 12 in field goal percentage, they're next-to-last in field goal percentage defense.
"When's the last time we've given up what we've given up? People are shooting 43 percent against us,'' Huggins said. "That hasn't happened.
"We're not rebounding the ball the way we typically rebound the ball. We're not scoring on offensive rebounds. We're not scoring on put-backs,'' Huggins said. "We got outscored 30-10 in the paint. That just hasn't happened.''
Some of West Virginia's problems could be overcome by shooting the ball better, of course, but for the most part that hasn't happened. The Mountaineers did go through a stretch of about 12 minutes against Oklahoma when shots were falling, including six 3-pointers by freshman guard Terry Henderson.
"Terry was shooting pretty well and then he made the first one of the second half,'' Huggins said. "And then he had some pretty good looks and didn't get any down.''
All in all, though, it's a multi-faceted problem. The Mountaineers have to shoot the ball better, rebound when they don't and play better defense. In other words, improve in just about every area.
"At the risk of sounding simplistic it would be nice if we made a shot once in a while,'' Huggins said. "We just haven't shot the ball very well at all. We haven't shot it very well from 3 and, in all honesty, we haven't guarded as well as we normally guard.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.