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January 7, 2013

Huggins: No good losses

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins isn't in the business of spinning things when it comes to losing basketball games. So ask him about a close loss against a quality program and you'll get the same response as any other defeat.

"People say it's a good loss, I've never had one," he said.

Huggins and the Mountaineers will hit the road for their first Big 12 Conference game at Texas and West Virginia will be looking to rebound after dropping the conference opener at home against Oklahoma. In that game, the Mountaineers let a double-digit second half lead slip away before falling 67-57.

"Very talented, extremely talented. I think Rick (Barnes) has done a great job with a bunch of young guys. He's got them playing like they're veterans, they're not playing like freshmen and sophomores," Huggins said of Texas.

To get back on the right track, Huggins believes first of all his team will need to hit shots and do the things that has made the program successful in the past such as playing defense and rebounding.

"When you don't make shots you've got to find other ways to score and we're always been very proficient at scoring on the offensive glass and obviously we haven't done that," he said.

As he pointed out in his post-game press conference Saturday, this isn't the first West Virginia team under Huggins that has struggled shooting the ball, but thus far it does lack veteran leadership like its had in the past from players such as Joe Alexander, Da'Sean Butler and Kevin Jones.

The team had a quick turnaround after the game Saturday and practiced Sunday, and according to Huggins there was no heads hanging.

"I thought maybe their sense of determination was a little better," he said.

But Huggins understands the clock is ticking for the opportunity to head back to the NCAA tournament and at 7-6 (0-1) the chips are stacked against West Virginia at this point in the season.

"In all honesty we've put ourselves behind the eight ball, we need to win games," he said.

West Virginia is set to take on Texas at 9 p.m., with the game set to be televised by ESPN2.


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