MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bob Huggins wants his team to be on the same page and he is going to make sure that they are.
During Monday night’s game against Northern Colorado, sophomore forward Derek Culver was missing from the starting lineup. Culver warmed up with the team pregame but was relegated to the bench for the entire first half.
“I decided not to play him,” Huggins said after the game. “We’re going to do it right, we’re going to all be on the same page.”
Culver finally checked into the game with 15:40 left in the second half and seemed to have heard Huggins’ message loud and clear. In 11 minutes of play, Culver scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
“He played pretty well in the second half. I thought he was pretty strong with the ball,” Huggins said. “He’s the same as those other guys he goes too fast, shoots it before he sees where he’s shooting it, those kinds of things.”
The Bears were able to tie the game at 54 with 6:18 left to play by going on a 10-0 run, but WVU was able to respond with a 10-0 run of their own. On that run, Culver scored six of his points on the night. Culver scored 10 of the Mountaineers’ final 16 points of the game.
“He brings a certain energy,” Taz Sherman said of Culver. “Once he’s in the game you feel his presence, offensively, defensively you feel that Derek Culver is there. Once he came in the game they started double-teaming him immediately. He came in the second-half cold, he came in aggressive and he was being DC.”
Culver missed the first 15 games last season due to a team suspension for a violation of team rules.