MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Bob Huggins would like to think that Wednesday's streak-snapping win over TCU did West Virginia some good from a confidence standpoint.
Whether it actually did or not, well, that's a good question.
"That's our hope,'' Huggins said Friday before the Mountaineers practiced.
The test, of course, comes today when West Virginia goes at it again. Fresh off that 71-50 drubbing of TCU at home, the Mountaineers (9-9, 2-3 Big 12) face a much more difficult assignment today. They face Oklahoma State (12-5, 2-3) in a 1 p.m. game at Gallagher-Iba Arena that will be televised by ESPNU.
The confidence Huggins hopes his team has now wouldn't have been generated by a win over TCU. After all, the Horned Frogs are 9-10 and have lost all six of their Big 12 games. Beating TCU was expected.
No, it's the way the Mountaineers played on Wednesday night that was encouraging. Well, at least for a while.
"I think for 25 minutes at least we played the way we've played in the past,'' Huggins said, referring mostly to his team's defense.
Repeating that today against Oklahoma State, though, will be difficult.
"They're very athletic,'' Huggins said. "Extremely athletic.''
Indeed, there are exceptional players and top-notch athletes up and down the Cowboys' rotation.
Freshman point guard Marcus Smart was named the preseason freshman of the year in the Big 12 and 6-foot-7, 230-pound sophomore forward Le'Bryan Nash was one of the five players named to the preseason all-league team. Neither has disappointed.
Smart is averaging 13.2 points, 4.5 assists and at 6-3 and 225 pounds is the team's second-leading rebounder. Nash averages 13.9 points.