West Virginia basketball has struggled as of late, and like many of us across the country, the flu has hit the Mountaineers hard.
West Virginia basketball has had a strong season thus far. The Mountaineers are ranked No. 15 in the AP Poll and No. 11 in the Coaches' Poll.
After a season opening loss to Texas A&M, WVU rolled off 15 straight wins to start the year. Things have not gone as well since.
WVU has dropped five of six, with the lone win coming against Texas. The team is now 16-6 overall, and 5-4 in Big 12 play.
Fans noted that the team looked a step slow a few days ago in its loss to Iowa State. The Mountaineers fell 93-77 to the Cyclones in Ames.
While no coach is going to give an excuse like illness for a loss, the flu may at least explain a lack of effort. Apparently this year's nasty flu strain has hit WVU extremely hard.
Bob Huggins wouldn't go into detail about exactly who is sick. However, he said that five players are currently dealing with flu symptoms, and two have been to the hospital.
The most noticeable player affected is Daxter Miles, the team's second-leading scorer. He missed the Iowa State game. Right now, it sounds like the status of a number of guys is up in the air. From BlueGoldNews.com:
The Mountaineers have been hit hard by influenza, with two players having already been to the hospital for IVs. A total of five players have had the virus, or flu-like symptoms, and several remain questionable for Saturday’s match-up against Kansas State.
“Honestly I am just worried about having enough guys to play,” said Huggins, who himself began to feel poorly in the last 24 hours. “I don’t know what all we can do. We are going to dummy through a bunch of stuff, but I don’t know what we can do. I don’t think we have ever had this many guys sick at one time. I don’t think there is any doubt the Iowa State game we had no legs. Try to save as much energy as we can. Hopefully some of them get better.”
If there's a positive sign, it is the status of reserve Chase Harler. The sophomore guard was the first to come down with the illness, but has bounced back and could start in the team's Saturday game against a hot Kansas State team.
The Wildcats are coming off of a four game winning streak that was snapped with a loss to Kansas. Right now, West Virginia is a 6.5-point favorite, per OddsShark.