"He doesn't know any better. That's what he did in high school,'' Huggins said of Hinds, who was 1-for-9 shooting against the Irish. "[He thinks,] 'Hey, we're down. I've got to go do something.' I don't know what the school record is for misses. Probably Hot Rod [Hundley] has it. But probably if I'd left him in long enough he'd have had a chance.
"But the kid just doesn't know. He knows, but your instincts take over. That's what he's done his whole life. At one point I was trying to decide whether to let Jabarie go in there and see how many he could miss or get him out. But he's trying to create something.''
When Hinds and Browne aren't playing well and moving the ball, everyone suffers. Kevin Jones is on track to become just the third player in Big East history to lead the league in both scoring and rebounding over a full schedule, but he got only 12 shots against Notre Dame.
Part of that was Notre Dame's defense, but a significant portion was an inability of anyone to get him the ball.
"The truth of the matter is we haven't thrown him the ball when he's open all year,'' Huggins said. "I was watching one of our games and the commentator said, 'Somebody needs to introduce these guys to Kevin Jones.' They forget who he is.''
Still, if Hinds and Browne play well - both now seem to be settled into the starting lineup after Browne spent most of the year coming off the bench - West Virginia has pretty much proven it can play with anyone. The Mountaineers, after all, have solid wins over NCAA tournament locks or potential invitees like Georgetown and Kansas State, and have played right to the wire with Baylor and Syracuse.
The challenge now is to get past the Wednesday loss in a hurry and make something happen.
"They just had it going,'' Jones said of Notre Dame. "It was definitely frustrating, but [opponents] are going to make tough shots sometimes and we have to play through it. We didn't. We kind of gave up at a certain point. And that's not acceptable.''
As for Johnson-Odom, he's actually ahead of Jones in the scoring race when counting league games only, 19.7-19.3. In all games, though, Jones leads by a rather substantial 20.3-18.7.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.