MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia doesn't know.
Doesn't know what the problems are. Doesn't know why so many still exist. Doesn't know how to fix them. Definitely doesn't know how to explain it all after Saturday's 13-point lead turned into a 14-point loss to Oklahoma State and left the Mountaineers one game below .500 entering tonight's 9 o'clock ESPN-televised game against No. 3 Kansas.
"I don't know, man," said West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins, who has been coaching for 31 seasons and hasn't finished below .500 since his first. "I don't know. I've never had guys like this."
For 14:28 at Iba-Gallagher Arena on Saturday, the Mountaineers looked capable of extending whatever momentum had been established with Wednesday's 71-50 win against TCU.
WVU led 24-11 and was shooting an unusual 55 percent. The Cowboys had no offensive rebounds or points off turnovers. The Mountaineers were keeping the OSU offense on one half of the floor and shutting down almost every half-court set.
Then things went bad very fast and WVU was outscored 19-6 in the final 5:32. OSU led 30-27 at the half and never trailed in the second half, where the lead grew to be as large as 19 points on the way to an 80-66 win.
"I don't know," senior forward Deniz Kilicli said. "It is really hard to put my finger on it. I don't know what's going on."
The Mountaineers (9-10, 2-4 Big 12) have lost five of their past seven games and will go all of January without winning back-to-back games. They've lost five games by double figures and two of those came after leading by at least 12 points.
"We need to focus longer," guard Eron Harris said. "We're a good team. Everyone can see the potential. We have to sustain it. That's the problem."
That's a problem across sports, though, and WVU's way is complicated because the players have to play so hard for so long to cover up mental and physical shortcomings. The solution isn't readily accessible for the Mountaineers.
"I don't know," Harris said. "We watch film for hours. They give us the scouting report on paper and on the screen and we go through every player and what they do and what they don't do and, I don't know, but at some point in time, some players don't listen. Some players don't remember."
For a time, the Mountaineers were an unusual collection of players. They started a freshman and two first-season transfers, one sophomore and one senior. Early off the bench were a sophomore, a freshman and a junior college transfer.
That has changed a lot during the season. Huggins has used a starting lineup with four guards and a bigger lineup with two sizeable post players. He has leaned on and backed away from his motion offense. He has tried to add dribble-drive elements and he's hoped to play faster.