MORGANTOWN — Jordan McCabe began his first collegiate postseason with a statement, one he wanted all West Virginia fans to hear.
It came after West Virginia had one of its poorest defensive performances in a 109-91 loss to Coastal Carolina on Monday, in the second round of the CBI.
“Everybody in that locker room right now feels like we let people down,” McCabe said. “That’s probably going to be the hardest thing for us to have to deal with and accept and come to grips with. We’re going to have to figure it out, because next season is going to be different.
“We know that we had people getting to a point to where they could believe in us. The worry is that we ruined that tonight.”
McCabe wrapped up his freshman season with 11 points and six assists. He finished with 88 assists, which led the team.
“Our goal right now is to get back in the gym and get everyone healthy and get everyone on the same page,” McCabe continued. “We need to get that buy-in that we needed to make the state proud.”
Huggs in the hospital
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who has been dealing with a hard cough for much of the season and was also diagnosed with Atrial fibrillation (AFib) after his heart attack in 2002, said he visited the hospital over the weekend.
“I just got out of the hospital for AFib and pneumonia,” Huggins said when asked about the Mountaineers’ upcoming offseason. “Anything would be an improvement.”
‘We want Culver’
As West Virginia forward Derek Culver watched from the bench in the first half, fans began to chant, “We want Culver. We want Culver.”
No injury was reported on the freshman prior to the game, so his absence was a big question.
As it turns out, WVU players were also caught off guard up until the last minute.
“To be quite frank, nobody knew,” McCabe said. “We went in with five minutes to go [before tip-off] and his name wasn’t on the board. We knew that other guys were going to have to step up. We’ve kind of been in that situation before. I think our other bigs did everything they could to fill that role.”
Jermaine Haley’s 12 points and 10 rebounds gave him a double-double for the second time this season.
Considering how the game went, it was not a much-discussed stat following the game.
“I think we need to look to the offseason now and work a little harder and up the intensity,” he said. “We’ve got to get better on defense. I think we’ll become a team that can always get a good shot, but we’ve got to stop other teams from getting what they want. Our offensive stats didn’t matter at all tonight, because we couldn’t stop them on defense.”