Watkins solved that for a night, and maybe longer.
"It's really good for us because we can actually say, 'Oh, we have one other guy to help us,'" Browne said. "Now we need to keep him going and keep on him every day in practice and every time we play a game and say, 'All right, you already did this once. You can do this again.'"
The Mountaineers are very much looking forward to his encore.
"I love when he gets in," Harris said. "He doesn't complain. He just does what he's asked to do."
WVU can think about asking more, and the timing is great for the Mountaineers. Adrian had been struggling with his offense before his injury and Terry Henderson had started in his place the past two games. Adrian and Watkins are different players and WVU can do more with Adrian in the game than with Watkins, but the Mountaineers don't play again until Sunday, when they play host to Purdue. They're off another week before playing William & Mary at the Civic Center Dec. 29.
"If Brandon could kind of learn a little bit more, he'd play more," Huggins said. "It's hard because we can't run anything with him. He hasn't figured out what to do yet. But he makes a difference around the rim and he scores a lit bit around the rim. He changes shots. He's the one guy we have who changes shots."
The 6-foot-9, 235-pound Watkins was an all-Metro Atlanta players last season at Grady High School in Decatur, Ga., and averaged 19 points and 14 rebounds per game. A year earlier, he averaged 5.8 blocks per game. His orders Saturday were to help WVU keep Marshall of the offensive glass, where the Herd had nine offensive rebounds and 13 second-chance points in the first half, and to provide some kind of presence at the basket when Marshall got there.
It worked, but Watkins was also a part of the offense. He set screens for Juwan Staten when WVU needed points and he even rolled off the screens and caught passes from the point guard for simple layups. Not coincidentally, Watkins and Staten each scored 10 points in the second half. WVU's other seven players managed 23 points.
"He did everything he was asked to do," Staten said. "He played hard, but he scored, which was a bonus. We knew he'd bring in defense and rebounding, but he gave us a lot of points."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu.