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Youngstown St West Virginia Bahugsketball

If there’s one thing West Virginia coach Bob Huggins hates more than anything, it’s turnovers.

There isn’t anything that Bob Huggins hates, detests or abhors worse than turnovers.

They are the bane of the iconic West Virginia University men’s basketball coach’s existence.

So, it comes as no surprise that Huggins was less than pleased — far less, in fact — with the Mountaineers’ floor game during a 74-59 loss to the University of Texas in WVU’s last game.

“After all this time, I learned you can’t turn it over 20 times and expect to win,” said Huggins during a Zoom call on Friday. “I don’t think we played terrible. I just think that you can’t turn it over 20 times.

“And, in particularly, you can’t turn it over to them for baskets. And we did that. We had way, way, way too many live-ball turnovers that resulted in baskets for them.”

Perhaps that will be a point of emphasis when the Mountaineers host Kansas State at 2 p.m. Saturday at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

That’s particularly true considering WVU’s turnovers have been on the rise recently. In the Mountaineers’ last four games they have committed 16 turnovers vs. Kent State, 14 at UAB, eight vs. Youngtown State and 20 at Texas.

So, although WVU is averaging 12.4 turnovers for the season, the Mountaineers have averaged 14.5 in their last four games.

And, of course, Huggins never is going to sit still on his stool for that.

“We can’t turn it over 20 times,” said Huggins pointedly. “Particularly, when they’ve been told since we started official practice that what’s going to beat us is ourselves turning the ball over. And we turned it over 20 times.

“We’re not going to win turning it over 20 times, particularly not against a team like that [Texas].”

What made it even worse is the Longhorns weren’t utilizing some new strategy to force the flood of turnovers.

“We threw it to ‘em,” said Huggins. “They didn’t take it from us much, we threw it to them. We have been very careless with the ball from the beginning. We have talked about it, worked on it, got ‘em on the toss-back, did all the passing drills that I know of before we even got into the official start of practice.

“And it hasn’t helped any, so we’re going to have to come up with something else. Or, we’re going to just have to sit those guys who continually turn it over.”

That would mean point guards Kedrian Johnson and Malik Curry and do-it-all forward Gabe Osabuohien. Johnson has committed 21 turnovers while playing 20.6 minutes per game. Curry has 22 turnovers during 17.9 minutes per game. And Osabuohien has committed 20 in 16.9 minutes per game.

Those numbers obviously need to come down.

So what is the answer?

“We have two point guards,” said Huggins. “We try to play the one that’s playing the best that day.”

Or, the least worse, as the case may be.