MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - It is what West Virginia's basketball team does during the games, particularly that part where the Mountaineers shoot the ball through the hoop, that has so far defined the season's success.
It's what those players do away from the court that may direct them to the NCAA Tournament they defiantly seek after last years' 13-19 record and this year's seventh-place spot in the Big 12 preseason coaches' poll.
Terry Henderson walked into a furious locker room after the loss at Virginia Tech and in a matter of minutes changed clothes, wrapped some ice around his sore right shin and boarded the team bus.
"I was mad," he said.
Eron Harris has talked to the media after four wins and critiqued things before he would praise anything.
"It all comes down to execution," he said. "We're all just learning how to execute and learning what things we can do. We're still trying to adapt to that and progress each day."
Juwan Staten stood up in front of his teammates following Saturday's 33-point win against Presbyterian, a third straight win in just six days, to make sure their minds were right before they traveled to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge, which begins with today's 6 p.m. game against Old Dominion. The winner and loser advance to play either Wisconsin or Saint Louis Wednesday.
"Everyone understand," Staten said, "this is a business trip. This isn't a vacation."
The Mountaineers (4-1) didn't have a lot of fun last season, and while they're enjoying themselves now with a hot-shooting, high-scoring offense, they are also careful to police themselves and their potential. This is a team that knows now is the time to create good habits and make sure bad ones don't have a place for very long.
"That is very accurate," Harris said. "I'm more serious than I am playful at this point, even though we're not playing high-caliber teams. Right now, I'm going into every game like it's a business affair. We want to be serious."
Harris leads the Big 12 in scoring. He leads the team in stern looks, some aimed at himself during games like the loss to Virginia Tech, when he shot 4-for-17, and some offered to others for not doing things that they're expected to do.