Charity, Good And Bad, Highlights WVU Exhibition Win
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When it comes to charity, Bob Huggins is a man with a heart.
When it comes to the way his team played Friday night, sort of going through the motions to beat Duquesne in a charity exhibition, 78-70, before 9,705 fans, he is far less charitable.
“I didn’t like much of anything,” Huggins said when asked what he liked and didn’t like about his team’s performance.
It may not have been quite that bad, for Huggins is a difficult man to please.
How difficult? He probably would have given Mary Lou Retton a 9.6 on her perfect 10 vault in the 1984 Olympics.
To wit, he mentioned quite prominently that he wasn’t pleased with his team’s rebounding, yet the stat sheet told a different story, WVU grabbing 48 rebounds to 35 for the Dukes.
That led to WVU outscoring Duquesne 20-5 in second chance points.
“Why wouldn’t I expect Derek Culver to do what he did a year ago?” Huggins asked. “That’s fair, isn’t it?”
Last year Culver led the Big 12 in rebounding as a freshman with 9.9 a game.
He had only eight against Duquesne, not a team of the quality that he faced last year in the Big 12.
“Why wouldn’t I expect Logan Routt to make a tremendous jump forward this year, too, but neither of them were as active and got their hands on balls we expect them to.”
Now Oscar Tshiebwe, the man-child whom many expect to lead WVU to new heights, did not disappoint.
He put together a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, but then that’s what he does.
“He runs the floor and scores around the rim,” Huggins said, then added, “and misses free throws.”
Tshiebwe was 3-7 from the free throw line.
Now, to be charitable, WVU was without 6-7 guard Jermaine Haley, due to a bad back and Huggins was playing a lot of kids and newcomers, so mistakes were expected and he was charitable with them.
“I thought the young guys I had in at the end did a good job,” he said, including Fairmont’s Jalen Bridges, who got to play and scored four points even though he has opted to redshirt this season.
However, there is a lot to work on.
“We didn’t run anything,” Huggins said. “We weren’t very good defensively, and for what we need to be to be a really good team, I thought we were horrible. One, rebounding the ball; two, from the free throw line and three, from the 3-point line. We have to do those things better.”
The good that came out of the game was that proceeds went to charity.
“Two years ago we were having secret scrimmages and I think Bill Self led the way for us to play one of them for charity. We played for hurricane relief,” Huggins said.
This year’s charity benefited the Dayton, Ohio, Oregon District Tragedy Fund, where a mass shooting took place.
“With what has happened in Dayton and around the country we felt it would be great to give the money to those families who went through so much,” Huggins said.