MORGANTOWN - Aaric Murray didn't want to talk about the past, preferring instead to focus on the present.
And why not? By late Wednesday night his present was a whole lot more enjoyable than his recent past.
No, Murray wasn't able to erase the fact that a few days before he had been sitting at home watching West Virginia's basketball team play No. 3 Michigan. But he was able to begin making amends for his transgressions.
And following his best all-around game as a Mountaineer in a 76-71 win over Oakland Wednesday night, he admitted that he was fairly motivated by what had happened.
"It was a little bit of that,'' Murray said. "That and you don't want to miss another trip. So I've got to make sure I do what I have to do to play.''
What Murray did against Oakland was rather remarkable. He had 12 points and 10 rebounds, blocked five shots, had four assists and generally was the best player on the floor as WVU (5-5) snapped a two-game losing skid to get back to .500.
In a game that was rather torturous to watch at times, the 6-foot-10 transfer from LaSalle was smooth. He ignited a 23-7 run midway through the second half that enabled the Mountaineers to make a game of it after trailing almost throughout, then was involved in just about every play down the stretch.
"Aaric's an amazing player,'' said teammate Keaton Miles, whose pair of 3-pointers helped fuel that second-half run. "And when you get him giving his all and going all in, you get a night like [Wednesday night].''
But then there are the other nights - and days - when Murray isn't all in. That's apparently what happened to him last week when coach Bob Huggins simply left him at home when the Mountaineers went to Brooklyn to face Michigan.