MORGANTOWN - It doesn't take long to find a specific symmetry in West Virginia's stat sheet.
This is a team that lacks a winning record and is losing more than it wins in conference play. It is a team without a player scoring in double figures, something none of the Big 12's other nine teams can say.
Seven Mountaineers average between 7.1 and 9.7 points per game. Five of those seven have led the team in scoring at least once in nine conference games. If you want to isolate a reason why WVU is 11-11 overall and 4-5 in the Big 12 entering Saturday's 4 p.m. men's basketball game at suddenly spry TCU, why a team with talent can sometimes lack a direction, that's a pretty good one.
West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins said last week that opponents have a hard time deciphering WVU's offense because WVU doesn't really even know what it's going. That was taken to be a joke, but you have to wonder. It's one thing when a defense doesn't know where to begin when it comes to guarding WVU. It's something else when WVU doesn't know where to begin to find points.
Is this team better playing big or small? Motion offense or dribble-drive? Three guards or four? Two bigs or three?
How often has a possession wandered toward the end of the shot clock or have the Mountaineers dragged themselves through a drought hoping and waiting for someone to jump out, take the ball and put it into the basket? The person with the ball is trying to find someone. Someone's watching the person with the ball.
On and on it goes, and it's gone on for much of the season, but it might be coming to an end. The Mountaineers embarked on this quixotic mission for a postseason bid late last month, reaching for the NCAA Tournament until it's in their hands or indisputably out of their reach.
Something is happening along the way that was supposed to happen before. Jabarie Hinds and Deniz Kilicli are starting near the end of the season to be who they were at the beginning, back when Huggins believed they were the most gifted parts of the offense and thus worthy of the trust to take the Mountaineers far.
Kilicli has scored in double figures in three of the past five games, something he did just once before this season. He's been aggressive and effective the past two games with 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting. He's drawn defenders. He's forced fouls. He's been a factor.
"I thought he was terrific," Huggins said. "He's so much more active. He does a great job sealing people - we just don't do a great job getting him the ball. But I think the past two games were his best two all-around games Deniz has played."
Hinds' season has been a struggle. He started the game on the bench for the first time in his career against Kansas and then went scoreless for the third time in his career a game later against Texas Tech - and the Mountaineers did well in both without him, scaring Kansas and shooting a season-high percentage against the Red Raiders.