Guys like Harris and Henderson can make shots, as can Nathan Adrian and sometimes Remi Dibo. But they aren't generally players whose range on a hot night extends well past NBA 3-point range and whose presence just suddenly and sometimes surprisingly changes how defenses must play.
That's what West Virginia faced Wednesday and will now face the next two games. While those shooters certainly aren't the only aspect of the opponents with which WVU has to be concerned, they add an extremely dangerous component that has to be addressed if they are shooting well.
"It all goes back to taking away what teams and players do well, their strengths,'' said Harris. "When we play Oklahoma State that's what it comes down to, taking away Forte's 3s and limit Marcus Smart and Markel Brown's scoring.''
So how does a team take away shooters like that? Well, it's not as if West Virginia has exactly figured that out. In addition to Hannahs' performance Wednesday, Forte went off for six 3-pointers and 26 points the last time the teams played in Stillwater and Heslip had six 3s and 20 points when WVU played at Baylor last year.
But there have been times when those players haven't had the touch, too. Heslip missed all six of his 3-point attempts last year at the Coliseum and Forte made just three of his eight tries earlier this month in Morgantown.
"The best way to stop them is to make sure they don't get the ball in the first place,'' Staten said. "We let [Hannahs] get the ball. You can't do that.''
If the Mountaineers are able to do even a little bit of that it could help them at least try to stay afloat during what is a brutal stretch of games coming up. In addition to facing ranked opponents in Oklahoma State and Baylor, West Virginia's next six games are against teams currently in the Top 25, as are 10 of the remaining 12 regular-season contests.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.