OF ALL the topics hit on in this space of late, the one that's touched a nerve has been that which centered on WVU's decision to exit the Big East early and play in the Big 12 next season.
The opinion from here is the Mountaineer athletic department should live up to its word, its contract with the Big East, in regard to the 27-month notification period or settle without lawsuits. (I know, I know. A little late for that now.) Many readers responded by saying, basically, they don't have a moral dilemma with WVU taking a powder early and it's just business.
There was the topic of WVU's loss to Louisville in football, dropping the Mountaineers to .500 within the Big East.
However, when walking around downtown Charleston, the one topic I was most approached with this week was WVU's basketball loss in an exhibition game to Division II Northern Kentucky.
"What was that?" asked one Mountaineer fan. "I'd been thinking, 'Oh well, the football season is over, but at least I can turn to basketball.'"
Losing to the Norse, though, doesn't instill much confidence in a Mountaineer basketball team heading into another (and possibly final) brutal season within the Big East.
So a call was placed to WVU's Bob Huggins. His teams have suffered defeats in the past. His teams have suffered blowouts. But perhaps no loss has been this embarrassing.
"I'm OK," he said on Tuesday.
He didn't choose to elaborate.
Finally, though, Huggins pushed on.
"When you take Deniz [Kilicli, who missed the game because of a minor knee injury] out of the equation, that left us with two guys knowing what they were doing," Huggins said.
The coach was referring to veterans Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant and then the large number of newcomers filling the roster.
"All we did was run motion," Huggins said. "And we did a very poor job of that. Normally, when we struggle, we go to sets. But I didn't want to do that."
The result was NKU's Eshaunte Jones, a transfer from Nebraska, hitting a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds to play, sending the announced crowd of 7,288 fans home from the Coliseum not only disappointed but stunned.
Bryant indicated he expected the whole team to be worn out afterward on Huggins' dreaded treadmill.
"We had practice the next morning at 9 a.m.," said the coach. "We watched film for a long time. Then we went out and tried to fix some things."
The question was posed: Was the practice different because the bulk of the team is so young?