WACO, Texas -- Whether West Virginia is any good is yet unknown, even this late in this inaugural season in the Big 12 conference.
It's also not yet a concern for Bob Huggins, not while in possession of a three-game winning streak against the conference's worst teams. And not with a pitiless conclusion waiting that begins tonight with the 9 p.m. ESPN2 game against Baylor at the Ferrell Center.
"I think we're better," Huggins said of what's happened the past two weeks.
It's hard to dispute that, much the same as it's hard to say the Mountaineers (12-11, 5-5 Big 12) are yet ready to prove deserving of an at-large bid to a sixth straight NCAA Tournament.
WVU, Kansas and Kansas State are the only Big 12 teams with a winning road record in conference play. The Jayhawks and Wildcats are both 4-2 in opposing Big 12 gyms and are tied for first place in the conference.
The Mountaineers are 3-2 and tied for seventh, thanks solely to wins against Texas, TCU and Texas Tech, who together are 21 games below .500 in Big 12 play and have as many conference wins as WVU.
WVU is 1-9 against the RPI top 100 -- and the win came when Eastern Kentucky was outside the top 100. Seven of the final eight games are against teams in the RPI's top 55, beginning with the Bears (14-8, 6-4). They're No. 54 in the RPI and WVU gets to play them twice.
The three consecutive wins against Texas Tech, Texas and TCU, and even a somewhat encouraging performance in a loss to Kansas before that, have witnessed a different, improved WVU, especially on offense.
"They've got a couple guys now making more shots and playing a little more than they did earlier in the year," Baylor Coach Scott Drew said. "Add that offense to a good defense and good rebounding team and that's what gets you wins.
"Coach Huggins is always gong to have his guys ready and in position to win. Normally, that comes down to making shots."
That was WVU's fatal flaw earlier in the season. As recently as Jan. 27, the day before the loss to Kansas, the Mountaineers ranked 314th out of 345 teams in field-goal percentage (39.5) and 272nd in 3-point field-goal percentage (29.2) - and that was even an improvement upon previous numbers.
WVU is now at No. 291 in overall shooting percentage (40.1) and No. 268 in 3-point percentage (31.5). The Mountaineers shot a season-high 56.5 percent against Texas Tech, 46.2 against Texas (sixth-highest this season) and 51.2 percent against TCU.
They've also averaged seven 3-pointers per game in the past three games. WVU made seven 3s only five times in its first 20 games. Wins against Texas Tech (10-for-18) and TCU (7-for-10) saw the best two 3-point percentages of the season.
"We didn't do that earlier in the year," Huggins said.