However, the Mountaineers should not be as callow as the roster indicates. They're RPI strength of schedule is 24th, and Seton Hall's RPI ranking is seventh entering Thursday night's games (WVU was No. 33 on Thursday).
It's also the fourth time this season West Virginia will play an NCAA Tournament-like two games in a three-day span (and that doesn't count back-to-back night games last week in Las Vegas). The 2-in-3 situation will happen three more times this season, in combinations of Georgetown home-at Connecticut, at Syracuse-Pitt home, and at Notre Dame-Marquette home.
After tonight's game, WVU goes back to New Jersey to face Rutgers on Wednesday while the football Mountaineers are teeing it up against Clemson in the Orange Bowl, then come home Jan. 7 to face No. 12 - and rising after winning at Louisville - Georgetown, then travel to meet No. 9 UConn in Hartford.
That's three games in six days.
In the only previous road loss, the Mountaineers were tied at Mississippi State, 52-52, when the Bulldogs went on one of those Bryant-aforementioned runs in the final 7:38 to win 75-62. Freshman forward Aaron Brown didn't have to be reminded of why ... Huggins does that often.
"We learned a lot," Brown said of the previous road defeat for WVU. "Coach stresses you can't take plays off, and every possession counts. We've got to learn they all count.
"We've reached the point we don't see ourselves as freshmen. Coach says we aren't freshmen, we're players. It's reached the point we've got to play where everyone else does."
Yes, WVU reaches the halfway point of the regular season next week. Bryant reminded listeners after his big game that two of WVU's losses have come to unbeaten and No. 6 Baylor (13-0) in Vegas and at No. 15 Mississippi State (12-2, including a loss to Baylor) on the road, and that "if you take those away, we're 12-1."
The Big East portion of the schedule only underscores what Huggins has been preaching to his young team.
"You can't take plays off now," Bryant said. "It's a point of emphasis that Coach (Huggins) made (against Villanova) before the game, halftime, after the game. Now, it's different. The Big East, all five positions are good."
Browne said the WVU freshmen "got an idea of what the Big East was like (Wednesday night)."
What if the physical nature and competitiveness in a win against the 7-6 Wildcats didn't sink in?
"We've got to stop taking plays off," Huggins said. "We've got guys standing around - this isn't high school anymore. We'll do it for a while and then we don't do it. I haven't emphasized it quite as much because you can only put them on a treadmill so many times when we're playing so many games in the short amount of time that we are."
The WVU freshmen have been there, done that treadmill. The Big East road is a sharper incline.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.