This is the second installment of Bob Huggins speaks. This is a new feature that I’m going to do after every basketball game where I choose selected quotes from Bob Huggins. Huggins is not afraid to speak his mind with the media, and sometimes his comments are so honest that the make you laugh.
Last night, WVU defeated Morehead St. 48-83 at the Civic Center in Charleston, WV where the game was essentially over 8 minutes into the 1st half. The Mountaineers game out hot, starting the game with a 20-4 run. Kevin Jones had 23 points, Truck Bryant had 14, and Deniz Kilicli and Gary Browne both pitched in with 10 points apiece. The Mountaineers led by as many as 37 in the 2nd half.
“This is a good game for us,” Truck Bryant said after the game. “We’ve been getting better every day. It’s just a great feeling to see that we’re starting to gel as a team, and everybody is starting to know what their roles are.”
The defense is improving, forcing 23 Morehead St. turnovers. Huggins used the game to figure out where and when to play some of his new 8 freshmen. He talked about that and here is what else he had to say about the game:
“Our rotations were better. They recognized what we were trying to do and we were much better against pressure,” Huggins said. “We have practiced it. We probably went with just doing the dummy stuff to get them to understand where to go to where it is becoming second nature to them. We break it all down and then we put it all back together when we go five on five. I think we spent 25-30 minutes on it today.”
On the announced 10,122 in attendance at the Civic Center compared to games at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown:
“I’m the one who said we need to play a couple of games here,” Huggins said. “And I’m not sure maybe we should play here more.”
“I like playing here,” Huggins said. “I like being able to play in this part of the state, down here where people can see us.”
On missing 12 free throws in the 1st half:
“I just didn’t think our concentration was very good. We don’t have anyone shooting in practice less than 73 percent. I can make them play hard, but I can’t make them make free throws.”
“I mean, Gary Brown is shooting in the high 80s in practice,” Huggins continued. “It’s just, you know, it’s kind of like getting the measles. It just spreads. Some guy goes up there and clanks one, and the next guy gets up there and all of a sudden it’s in the back of your mind.”
On the freshmen starting to learn the offense and defense:
“We took better care of the ball. Our spacing was so much better,” Huggins said. “We weren’t standing on top of each other. We looked up the floor better. We’re still not very good at it, but we’re getting better. We’re guarding the ball a little bit better. Our understanding is better. We still give too much penetration. But when you get extended like that, you’re going to give penetration.”
The Mountaineers have six days off in preparation for a game against Akron at the Coliseum on Monday night. That will be the first in a difficult set of non-conference games including Mississippi St., Kansas St. (future conference opponent in the Big 12), and Miami.