MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - This time last week, Bob Huggins knew Eron Harris was in a bad place, but the West Virginia coach reserved the right to be optimistic his star scorer could shoot his way out of a prolonged funk.
Harris had earned that through a season-and-a-half with Huggins.
"I thought he was really bad against Texas Tech, and he got 18," Huggins said before the team's loss to Oklahoma State and after a win against the Red Raiders when Harris was 3-for-11 from 3-point range. "He's a guy who it doesn't seem like it bothers him as much as it does other people."
That might not be true any longer. Harris has shot the ball poorly from 3-point range for three consecutive games and has had one good game in the past seven. The sophomore who led the team in scoring last season and was leading the Big 12 earlier this season enters Saturday's 1:30 p.m. game at Kansas State averaging a season-low 17.4 points per game.
His head is filled with more doubt than confidence and more questions than answers. That more than missed jumpers is an indication he's not himself.
"There is a lot inside of me," he said. "Frustration is one thing. I've got a lot of thoughts, wondering what the answer is. What's the answer for me? What's the answer for us? How can I get myself going again?"
Solutions will not come easily against the Wildcats (13-4, 3-1 Big 12) and the conference's best defense. They lead the Big 12 in scoring defense (60.1 points per game) and 3-point percentage defense (26.7) and rank second in the conference in field-goal percentage defense (39.9).
Harris is coming off the worst 3-point shooting performance of his career and a season-low six points. He missed all seven of his 3-point attempts in Monday's loss to Texas, and Huggins said Harris hasn't been making shots in practice, either.
"I missed shot after shot after shot after shot," Harris said. "I never got going. It's the most frustrating things. Two years ago, I probably would have started crying in the game and told the coach, 'Take me out of the game. I don't want to go back in.'"