A Little Know-Howe: Why Today's WVU Game against Kansas Should have Mountaineer Fans Intrigued

By Brad Howe on February 16, 2019 from A Little Know-Howe via Connect-Bridgeport.com

It’s been a drama filled week around the WVU basketball program.
 
The news of Esa Ahmad and West Harris being dismissed from the team may not have surprised those within the program, but it sure did come as a shock to the rest of the college basketball world. Without Ahmad, one of just 53 1,000 point scorers in WVU history, and Harris, WVU loses the two players that play the most minutes per game.
 
Call me crazy, but the departures actually have me MORE interested in watching today’s WVU-Kansas game.
 
Hear me out. 
 
I realize WVU will now go into Phog Allen Fieldhouse without the services of four of its top six scorers (that includes Konate who hasn’t played since the Pitt game in early December, but still leads WVU in per game scoring).
 
No Ahmad and no Harris also mean two of the team’s top three rebounders will not play against KU either. Normally, those two things would lead me away from a game, not make me more interested in watching.
 
But, here’s the deal. With Ahmad and Harris playing, WVU has been non-competitive on the road for a month. Since a 31-point loss at TCU on Jan. 15, WVU has lost by 17, 25 and 31 points in games away from the Coliseum (throw in two double digit losses at home in that span as well). Non-Competitive.
 
So how much worse can it get for WVU on the road even with all of those key pieces out of the lineup? Maybe they lose by 30 again. Maybe they get beat by 40. So what. What will that change about your perception of this season? Probably nothing.
 
But, here’s what intrigues me. Some young guys will get extended minutes today. They have to. There aren’t many bodies left on that bench.
 
And extended minutes for some of the first year players has me interested. Which of these guys has some fight left in them? Who wants to be a part of this program moving forward?  
 
Emmitt Matthews is averaging just 10 minutes per game on the year. You would think that would have to go up over the remaining games this season. Trey Doomes has been talked about more than any guy in WVU history that has played just 34 minutes. Bob Huggins took his redshirt off in early January in an effort to find a spark. So far, we haven’t seen it as Doomes hasn’t played more than nine minutes in any game. 
 
Someone go out there and compete today. Someone go out there and show they want to be a part of the plans moving forward. Someone go out and show they are deserving of more playing time in the final few weeks of this season.
 
The chances of a win today for WVU are slim. I think we all realize that. 
 
Heck, WVU has taken Final Four level teams into Allen Fieldhouse the last few years and walked away winless. But, today is about more than a win or loss in my opinion. It’s about seeing if anyone on this roster is willing to compete.
 
Call me crazy, but I’m interested in seeing WVU today. 
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Bob Huggins leaving the floor following one of the few WVU wins this season, while Esa Ahmad is shown in the next photo and Wesley Harris below. Photos by Ben Queen of www.benqueenphotography.com.


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