But beyond the offense that those two could provide if they were ever in sync, there still exists the defensive issue. Huggins seems at least fairly satisfied with how his team is guarding shots, and the numbers bear that out. West Virginia is near the top of the Big 12 (third) in 3-point field goal percentage defense. Teams aren't making an inordinate number of jump shots inside the arc, either.
But because of the rebounding deficiencies, those opponents are getting far too many second shots. Quite simply, if a team misses, rebounds and then makes a second shot, that's 50 percent shooting. And so it doesn't matter how good the initial defense is if the end result is a second shot. Only TCU in the Big 12 allows opponents a higher percentage of offensive rebounds after missed shots.
"Probably the biggest thing is that we haven't rebounded it as well as we've rebounded it in the past," Huggins said. "We give people second chances.''
The problem might well continue tonight against Baylor. Despite its recent problems, the Bears are the best offensive rebounding team in the Big 12, as well as the most proficient rebounding team overall. In Cory Jefferson, Isaiah Austin and Rico Gathers, the Bears have three of the top 13 rebounders in the league.
But Baylor hasn't done many other things well, ranking at or near the bottom of the conference in field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense. The Bears are also the worst free-throw shooting team in the Big 12.
But this was still a team that started the season 12-1 and beat then-No. 3 Kentucky. It's only loss prior to conference play was against still-unbeaten Syracuse in Hawaii. But its only win since that 12-1 start was against TCU.
"I think [WVU's players] understand how talented they are," Huggins said. "The thing that's hard is that they have such great length. They play a lot of matchup zone and do a great job with it. I think it's extra effective because of their ability to block shots."
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.