Indeed, West Virginia did give away a lot of points throughout the game, on both ends of the floor. The Mountaineers finally shot the ball well (51.1 percent, including 64.7 percent in the first half), but also made barely half their free throws (12-of-22). On the other end, WVU allowed Kansas State to shoot 51 percent, including 70 percent for most of the first half. Some of that was just great shooting, but a lot of shots were just conceded.
"When your guy is dunking at one end and you haven't even reached the foul line on the other end,'' coach Bob Huggins said, "you probably aren't competing.''
That's not the case with Harris, though. The freshman has gotten far more playing time since having a solid game against Michigan in Brooklyn and has become a significant part of the rotation. In the first eight games of the season, Harris averaged just under 10 minutes on the floor in the games he played. In the last seven games, he's averaging over 18 minutes.
He's not shot the ball well consistently, but neither has anyone else and Harris appears to be emerging from that prolonged, team-wide slump as well as anyone. Of course, the off-balance prayer he threw up to give WVU the lead late in the Kansas State game can't be used as a gauge of how well he's shooting.
"I got lucky on that one,'' he admitted.
BRIEFLY: Point guard Juwan Staten has not played in three straight halves now, having been benched for the second half at Texas and the entire Kansas State game.
"He has to get on the same page as me or he's not going to play,'' Huggins said of the sophomore transfer from Dayton, who played so much in the first 13-plus games that he still leads the team in minutes played and likely will for another week or more even if he doesn't play.
Three of Iowa State's four losses are to ranked teams - Cincinnati, UNLV and Kansas - and the other to rival Iowa. All of the losses were away from home and the Cyclones drubbed Texas at home Saturday, 82-62.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1.