MORGANTOWN - It's hard to fault them because they've been thrown into a situation that is entirely foreign and asked to perform at a high level under immense pressure.
But if you ask Bob Huggins what his West Virginia basketball team's biggest problems have been of late, the answer is generally always the same - the Mountaineers don't move the ball like they need to move it.
That goes back in great part to Jabarie Hinds and Gary Browne, the two players being asked to do something they've never done before.
"Honestly, we've got two guys playing point guard who've never played point guard in their life,'' Huggins said. "Some days they're OK and other days they're not OK.''
On Wednesday night they were not OK, suffering through a miserable night in a 71-44 loss at Notre Dame.
Will they be better tonight when West Virginia (17-11, 7-8 Big East) hosts No. 10 Marquette (23-5, 12-3) in a 9 p.m. game at the Coliseum? Huggins and WVU hope so because the season may ride in the balance.
Losers of six of their last eight games, the Mountaineers desperately need a victory of note to both stop the bleeding and put them back on track to making their fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance. They get that chance with tonight's ESPN-televised game against their second straight streaking opponent.
The Golden Eagles have won 11 of 12 since suffering close back-to-back road losses to No. 9 Georgetown and No. 2 Syracuse in early January. Marquette's only loss since then was at Notre Dame, which after Wednesday's rout of West Virginia has won nine straight overall and 35 of 36 at home.
Marquette also played Wednesday night, beating Rutgers 82-65 at home to remain tied with Notre Dame for second in the Big East.
So how does West Virginia's youth at point guard wear on the Mountaineers? Well, it's not just youth. Not only are Hinds and Browne adjusting to the college game, both were scorers in high school, not distributors.
It showed Wednesday at Notre Dame when things began going badly for West Virginia and neither was able to settle the Mountaineers down and just run the offense. Instead, they tried to make things happen and ended up forcing them.
And it's not the first time this season.