MORGANTOWN - There's little doubt about the key to beating Connecticut, which is to do something to prevent Kemba Walker from dominating the postgame highlights that are shown on ESPN.
Knowing that key and executing it are two quite different things, though.
West Virginia is up next.
The Mountaineers and the Huskies play tonight at the Coliseum in the first of two significant games WVU plays this week while trying to secure a first-round bye in next week's Big East tournament. West Virginia (18-10, 9-7 Big East) is trying to navigate a crowded field of teams in the middle of the league standings that also includes No. 16 UConn (21-7, 9-7).
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN2.
Walker, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, is among a handful of candidates for Big East player of the year. He is second in the league in scoring (22.8 points per game) and is among the league's top 10 in assists, steals and 3-pointers.
"I think he could very well be the national player of the year,'' West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said Tuesday. "He has speed, quickness, an understanding of the game and he does a good job of reading defenses. He's really sound.''
Walker, though, is not infallible. At the beginning of the season he led the nation in scoring and was the reason the Huskies jumped from unranked into the Top 10 in November. But he's no longer the leading scorer in the Big East (that would be Providence's Marshon Brooks), much less the nation, and the Huskies, after starting the season 10-0 and then 17-2 are just 4-5 in their last nine games.
Much of the decline has been fairly simple.
"They're like everybody else,'' Huggins said. "They're a lot better when they're making shots.''