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WVU cruises to exhibition victory

November 7, 2012
By JIM ELLIOTT - Special to the Herald-Star , The Herald-Star

MORGANTOWN - Today, Bob Huggins has exactly the type of blooper reel he really didn't want, but one that he completely expected.

The easiest - and most often repeated - observation Huggins has is that one where his players love to show people all the things they don't know how to do.

Glenville State, which finished in the bottom half of the West Virginia Conference last year (13th), wasn't expected to put up much of a fight - and it didn't - as the Mountaineers rolled, 95-53, in an exhibition game Tuesday night at the WVU Coliseum.

Article Photos

STARTING THE SEASON — West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins watched his team earn an easy 95-53 win over Glenville State in an exhibition game at the WVU?Coliseum.
-- Associated Press

But those Pioneers, who feature former Mountaineers Joe Mazzulla and Rob Summers as assistant coaches, will make great background characters when Huggins breaks this film down and starts to point out the flaws.

He has purposely allowed his players get away with some of this for a while now. As you might expect, it was a calculated move.

''I let them do a whole bunch of stupid stuff early,'' Huggins said. ''I let them take shots they can't make, and I let them dribble balls they can't dribble. I know when I played, if I couldn't dribble and I lost it 75 percent of the time, I wouldn't dribble because I wanted to play. I wanted to see if any of them were smart enough to figure it out on their own.''

In his eyes, most of them aren't.

Still, with a pair of new starters, a total of six newcomers, and meaningful games that begin as early as Monday night when they begin the season at Gonzaga, Huggins welcomes all the practice he can get.

Juwan Staten and Aaric Murray, both highly touted transfers from four-year schools, joined senior Deniz Kilicli, and sophomores Jabarie Hinds and Keaton Miles in the starting lineup for West Virginia.

That unit played 92 minutes, scored 55 points, pulled down 20 rebounds, was 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, had nine assists and six turnovers.

Of that group, only Staten, a transfer from Dayton, truly impressed Huggins.

''I thought Jawan tried to run the teams, tried to do the right things,'' Huggins said.

Staten scored 16 points and had six assists.

Kilicli scored a game-best 19 points, and Murray looked largely as advertised with 13 points and nine rebounds in 16 minutes.

Whether it means anything, or nothing, Matt Humphrey, a 6-foot-5 senior guard and the last of the team's three transfers, was the first off the bench, followed by Kevin Noreen and Gary Browne.

Humphrey was 2 of 8 from the field and 0-for-4 from beyond the arc, part of a team-wide struggle there. WVU was 1 of 14 from 3-point range, with Miles cashing that in.

The Mountaineers upped that to as high as 44 with 26 seconds left on a layup by Volodymyr Gerun, a sophomore from the Ukraine who will sit out the first six games this season via suspension for playing three games on a professional team in Ukraine during the 2011 season. He scored 12 points and had three rebounds in 12 minutes on Tuesday.

West Virginia won't make its season home debut until Nov. 28 against VMI.

Whether that many guys see action then will be anybody's guess.

''I've got some guys that if they can't play harder than what they played (Tuesday), I really don't need them to play,'' Huggins said.

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