"We have constantly kind of given the ball to people for some unexplained reasons,'' Huggins said. "If you remember that Connecticut game, we were just standing there holding the ball and [Shabazz] Napier just stole it from us twice out of our hands and shot layups. And there were a lot of those things that happened a year ago and they're the same guys that we're playing now.
"I don't know that that's adversity, though. Look at the Texas Tech game. You get ahead and you just kind of relax and stop playing.''
Indeed, there have been times this season when West Virginia has given up all or most of big leads and other times when the Mountaineers were never even competitive. There have been a few when they did handle adversity well and made some late rallies, but more often than not it was too little, too late.
Much of that is simply focus and desire. Huggins has preached the same thing to his team all season about not taking plays off, and his players repeat the mantra time and again. But they don't always follow it.
"I think the thing that we've been pretty good at here is that we've been pretty consistent on trying to play every play. Don't take plays off,'' Huggins said, referring to his past teams. "The guys would constantly talk about, 'Don't take plays off.' And this group has taken plays off on a consistent basis.''
As he often does, Huggins brought up Da'Sean Butler as an example. By the time he graduated, Butler was one of the all-time greats at West Virginia, but it didn't always look like he would reach that level. At least not until he was a junior and a senior.
"He didn't do the things he did as a sophomore. He didn't take plays off,'' Huggins said. "You talked to him and he really took it to heart. And that's where these guys have got to get to. It's not like they don't know. It's not like they haven't heard it.''
Against Oklahoma State today, West Virginia faces challenges on multiple fronts. Forward Le'Bryan Nash was expected to be one of the top players in the Big 12 this season and 6-foot-11 center Philip Jurick is a beast, but the Cowboys have done their best work in the backcourt with freshman point guard Marcus Smart and scorers Markel Brown and Phil Forte.
When the teams met in Stillwater, those three combined for 63 of OSU's 80 points, including 26 from Forte.
"They're hard to guard because they can spread you so much because Forte has such great range,'' Huggins said. "And Brown is probably as good an athlete as there is in the league. They're good. That's probably the best three guards in the league.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.