MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Bob Huggins is a lot like many of the players he's coaching on West Virginia's basketball team. He's maturing and thus prone to being enlightened and learning to do things the way many others do.
And so it was that Huggins pulled his cell phone out of his pocket Saturday, fired up his Twitter app and bragged about the enthusiasm he witnessed in the walkthrough that preceded WVU's game against Texas that night.
It was all very 2014 of the veteran coach, who has molded a collection of first-year players as well as a few returning Mountaineers in their first year in an enhanced role to stand near the border of the NCAA Tournament with five regular season games remaining.
"This is how dumb I am," he said. "I walked out thinking, 'We're starting to get it. We're making rotations. We're doing the things we set out to do.'
"And when the game started, we didn't do any of those things."
It was a performance unbefitting of a retweet. The Mountaineers (15-11, 7-6 Big 12) gave up 23 baskets in the paint and a season-high 57.9 percent shooting and were outrebounded 41-26 as they lost to the Longhorns by 17 points.
That's followed WVU through its week off as it prepares for Saturday's 1:30 p.m. game against Baylor at the Coliseum (WQCW in Charleston). The Bears (17-9, 5-8) have won three straight games after losing seven out of eight. Included in the losses was a home loss in which they outrebounded WVU by 10, but were outscored 28-14 in the paint.
In the past three wins, Baylor has outrebounded teams by 27, 14 and 15 and scored 28, 38 and 28 points in the paint. Huggins likened the challenge of playing the Texas frontcourt to playing the Baylor frontcourt.
"I think it is similar," Huggins said. "They do a great job protecting the rim and they're a terrific offensive rebounding team."
The Longhorns started 6-foot-9, 285-pound Cameron Ridley and 6-8 Jonathan Holmes and played 6-8 Connor Lammert and 6-10 Prince Ibeh off the bench. The Bears start 6-9 Cory Jefferson and 7-1 Isaiah Austin and have 6-8, 270-pound Rico Gathers on the bench.