A good place to start would be putting Pitt into an even worse predicament than it already finds itself. The Panthers stunningly began Big East play 0-7 before beating equally inept Providence last week, but then on Saturday showed real signs of life with a wire-to-wire win over No. 9 Georgetown.
The biggest difference is the return of point guard Tray Woodall, who runs the offense and allows preseason Big East player of the year Ashton Gibbs to score.
And even in defeat, Pitt never really lost what is annually among its biggest assets - the ability to rebound the ball. The Panthers lead the Big East in rebounding margin and rank third in the country.
"They're tough. They're a good rebounding team that we have to keep off the glass,'' Jones said. "And they've got Tray Woodall back. He's their point guard, so their offense is going to run a little bit better and be able to score a little bit better.''
In a way, West Virginia got a bit of a head start preparing for the Panthers when Marshall appeared on the schedule two weeks back.
The Herd is coached by Tom Herrion, who was the Pitt assistant coach infamously hit by a thrown coin at the Coliseum two years ago.
"I know a lot about them, but the young guys don't,'' WVU guard Truck Bryant said. "They play just like Marshall. Pitt's going to do the same thing - guard the 3-point line and run a lot of sets.''
As for that focus, well, Huggins isn't quite sure what to expect. On one hand, after Saturday's loss he said of his team that "We'll be fine" after the defeat. But later he talked about essentially the same thing and openly wondered how his freshman-dominated team would react.
"I don't know. I've told you a thousand times, I flunked mind-reading,'' Huggins said. "I don't know. It's day to day. I have no idea.
"They all know how bad they were [in a 78-62 loss at St. John's]. It's not hard, when you're that bad, to kind of rally and get better. But the battle we have with these young guys is that when we win, they have to do the same things that enabled us to win.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.