MORGANTOWN - Cleaning out a crowded notebook and a cluttered mind while wondering if maybe the Coliseum crowd should take up the same chant road crowds tend toward when Deniz Kilicli is trying to focus:
Not that it hasn't happened before - in fact, it's fairly common - but when the vast student section at Pitt last Thursday began chanting "U-S-A, U-S-A'' as Kilicli was preparing to shoot free throws, it had opposite the desired effect.
He hit nothing but net twice to complete three-point plays. And this from a career 55-percent foul shooter.
"I don't know why the fans do that,'' West Virginia's Turkish center said. "I mean, it doesn't bother me at all. I like it here. I don't want to go home.''
With that in mind, perhaps opposing crowds would be better served to chant "Is-tan-bull, Is-tan-bull.''
If, by the way, that was the last WVU-Pitt basketball game for a while, well, that would be a shame. Even with traffic regularly backed up for an hour trying to get into and through Oakland, it's still one of the very few opponents - football or basketball - close enough to get to and worth getting there to see.
And it's only going to get worse, of course, when the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa are thrown into the mix.
But does anyone really think this series won't continue?
"Honestly, I'd be kind of shocked [if it ended],'' Bob Huggins said. "I mean, we've been playing since 1904. We're all looking for good non-conference games.''
The fact is, the teams not only started playing in 1904, they've not missed a year since 1917. For the math challenged that's closing in on 100 years. It wasn't interrupted when the schools were in different leagues before and it's not likely to be interrupted now, either, given that all you have to do is knock on ESPN's door and say WVU-Pitt and there's a crew on its way.
Football's going to be harder, though, but not impossible.
"Anything is possible,'' said WVU deputy athletic director Mike Parsons, who handles scheduling issues.
First things first, though. West Virginia is still in a position where it has to shed games in the immediate future before there's any talk of adding or replacing. The school has gone from five non-conference openings in an eight-team Big East to just three in the 10-team Big 12. And in each of the next four years WVU is or was already contracted to play four.
Dropping Florida State took care of the problem for 2012 (although the financial ramifications of that have yet to be fully developed), but in 2013 there are games contracted with FSU, Maryland, East Carolina and William & Mary. In 2014 Maryland, ECU, Michigan State and Towson are on the schedule. In 2015 it's Maryland, ECU, Michigan State and Liberty.
Not until 2016 is West Virginia within the 12-game limit, having only Maryland, ECU and Brigham Young (in Washington, D.C.) under contract. In 2017 Maryland and ECU are already contracted and in 2018 only ECU is already on the schedule.
So, how does WVU go about paring things down? Well, first of all, don't expect those FCS opponents - William & Mary, Towson and Liberty - to go anywhere. West Virginia not only needs them as home games, the Mountaineers need a breather or a warm-up in a schedule that every year will include Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa State. No more complaining about one FCS opponent a year. It's not allowed.