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New Hope For Mountaineers In Year Two
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By Wendell Barnhouse | wendell@big12sports.com
Big12Sports.com Correspondent


Story line
West Virginia had plenty of pieces but despite plenty of tweaking and shuffling, the pieces never fit. The Mountaineers were 6-12 in their first season in the Big12, finishing in eighth place. Coach Bob Huggins said a year ago that if West Virginia finished sixth (where it was picked in the preseason) then the Big 12 "must be a helluva league." This year's team returns three starters and Huggins is hoping that a year of experience in the Big 12 plus some newcomers up front will push WVU up the standings.

Coach: Bob Huggins, 133-75 in six seasons at West Virginia; 723-286 overall in 31 seasons.
Last season: 13-19 overall, 6-12 in Big 12, eighth.
NCAA Tournament: Did not participate.

Top players
Sophomore guard Eron Harris, sophomore guard Terry Henderson, junior guard Juwan Staten, junior guard Gary Browne, junior forward Kevin Noreen,

Coach Huggins says
"We're going to be more of a perimeter team. … There are a few fun things left in this business, and I think one of them is to watch people mature. Those guys (sophomore guards Eron Harris and Terry Henderson) went from being very shy, skinny little guys to not knowing what to do and kind of being not very assertive to taking a leadership role."

Notable
West Virginia is 65-3 at home against nonconference teams over the last nine seasons. … The Mountaineers went 4-0 during a trip to Italy in August. … West Virginia has won 66 of its last 76 games when it scores at least 70 points. … Eron Harris became just the second freshman to lead the Mountaineers in scoring and the first since the 1972-73 season. … West Virginia's 6-12 Big 12 record was the first losing record for coach Bob Huggins in league competition since his first Akron team posted a 6-10 mark in Mid-American Conference play in 1985. … Two newcomers who were expected to help in the front court aren't likely to gain eligibility this season. Elijah Macon, a 6-9 freshman, and Jonathan Horton, a 6-7 junior-college transfer, had not been cleared to play as of Nov. 1.

Season opener
Nov. 8 Mount St. Mary's

Top nonconference games
Nov. 12 at Virginia Tech
Dec. 5: at Missouri Big 12-SEC Challenge
Dec. 10: Gonzaga
Dec. 22: Purdue

Conference opener
Jan. 4 at TCU
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