Huggins was hardest on his centers, Kilicli and Murray. Kilicli, as has been the case in almost every game this season - Marshall was the notable exception - was just awful. In nine minutes he took just three shots, missed them all and grabbed only two rebounds. With WVU's outside shooting horrendous most of the season, Huggins had made it a point to try to get the ball inside. But Kilicli is missing shots or turning the ball over more than anything else.
"Deniz hasn't finished anything around the rim. And we're not playing Deniz for his defensive ability, obviously," Huggins said. "We just can't keep doing it. We can't gear a lot of what we do around somebody that's not going to finish.
"I love Deniz, I want you to understand that. Deniz is one of my favorite guys of all time. I love him to death. I'm not sure I love anybody enough to lose for him. I don't know if I love my wife that much, to lose for her."
His harshest criticisms were reserved for Murray, whose work ethic and attitude - or so it would seem judging by Huggins' comments - contributed to him being left at home.
"I've left guys home that are way, way, way better than Aaric Murray,'' Huggins said. "I've sent a couple of guys home after we got [to games] that are way, way, way better than Aaric Murray. ... Honestly, did we miss him? I don't think we did. And if he doesn't do right in the future we won't miss him in the future, either.
"I'll feel kind of bad that he's gone, but I'm not going to miss him. We're going to do right, and that goes for all of them.''
Huggins talked about the players he has had since returning to West Virginia five-plus seasons ago. Like this group, perhaps they were not as talented as some teams, but they made up for it in other ways.
"Since I've been here we've had guys that were very committed to what we were doing,'' Huggins said, listing names from Joe Alexander through Kevin Jones and so many in between. "But they were in the gym. They weren't hanging out on High Street. They weren't hanging out at some girl's house. They were in the gym. They were committed to what we were doing. ...
"There's no way that if we lost to Duquesne [as WVU did Tuesday, losing a 15-point second-half lead] that Kevin Jones wouldn't have been in the gym all day.''
On the plus side, perhaps the most demanding early-season schedule in school history is pretty much over. West Virginia has played just two games at the Coliseum, which is about to change with four in a row there. The first three are against relative lightweights (compared to No. 3 Michigan) Oakland, Radford and Eastern Kentucky, beginning with Oakland on Wednesday.
Finals are also over, meaning Huggins has more time to work with his team during the holiday break. Perhaps during that time he will find those he considers willing to sacrifice and play the kind of tough, nasty basketball he likes.
"I want to play guys that want to play. I want to play guys that want to get better. I'm going to play guys that will put in time and care,'' Huggins said. "People say, 'He's is a nice kid.' There's a lot of those in the library. I'm not playing them, either.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1