MORGANTOWN - Bob Huggins has tried big lineups and small ones. He's tried playing primarily shooters at times and rebounders at others. He's tried speeding things up and slowing them down. He's tried mixes of all of those, and more, too.
Nothing has worked, at least not consistently, and West Virginia's 8-9 record is evidence of that.
So is Huggins' frustration.
"It just seems like every time I think I've maybe got something figured out that will work,'' he said after the latest of those losses, "they just say, 'Well, we can screw this up, too.'"
On Saturday, in West Lafayette, Ind., it was the small lineup of shooters. What would eventually become a 79-52 rout by Purdue was a 6-6 game early. Matt Humphrey and Aaron Brown, two all-but-forgotten players for the better part of two months, had accounted for West Virginia's six with a pair of 3-pointers.
But then in rapid-fire fashion, Humphrey picked up "two of the dumbest fouls that any human being could possibly make,'' Huggins said. So out goes Humphrey.
"He fouls underneath of our basket. Why?'' Huggins asked. "Particularly why do that when I went on a tangent [the previous day] about guys fouling way out on the perimeter? Why would you do that? Make then try to score.
"So then Matt's got two [fouls] with 16, 17 minutes to go in the first half. You've got to take him out.''
So with Humphrey out, it was harder to try and attack the way Huggins wanted to attack. Purdue eventually altered its lineup and went bigger, and WVU did the same for a while. But nothing worked.
That's becoming a repetitive theme, of course. So, too, is Huggins watching his team fail to grasp the basics of things like scouting reports.