Huggins Likes His Team’s Chemistry

Bob Huggins

Huggins Likes His Team’s Chemistry

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–So the question was, with so many new parts, is Bob Huggins’ West Virginia basketball team ready for a game?

After all, the Mountaineers leave Saturday for a foreign tour in Spain where they will play three games against local professional teams.

West Virginia
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins

“No,” answered Huggins when asked if his club was ready, “but this will be good for us. We have so many new guys. I’m trying not to go too fast. This will be good.”

Huggins hopes the trip to Spain will help his team both on the court and off, as it looks to bounce back from last year’s disastrous 15-21 campaign.

“Hopefully we guard better than we did a year ago. Hopefully we pass better than a year ago,” said Huggins, who holds an 860-362 record as a college head coach. “I think we’re getting better. I think they want to, and that’s a big part of it. I think they want to get better, I think they enjoy shutting people down, and I think they really enjoy passing the ball to each other. We have several guys who are shot makers. If we can get them to share the ball to get a better shot than the one we have, then we’re making some strides.”

West Virginia’s coach also said this year’s club already seems close, so it doesn’t necessarily need the team-bounding aspect that such a tour can bring about, but it also can’t hurt.

“Even guys who may not like each other have to talk to each other on these trips, because there is nobody else to talk to,” smiled Huggins wryly. “These trips help, but this group is already as good as we’ve had in a while. They hang out together, they spend a lot of time together, they’re in the gym together. I don’t know if the team building thing will be quite as important for this group as maybe it would be for some. The important thing for us is we just have a lot of guys who haven’t played at this level. They’re talented enough to play at this level, and this trip should give them an idea of how hard you have to play, and how you can’t take plays off.

“Everybody usually gets along until you get people in the stands,” he added. “Then you get someone in their ear saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got to get yours.’ I think that’s what changes everything. It’s the people on the outside looking to get something out it for themselves.

“We’re not asking them to go out on a date or anything,” continued Huggins in terms of being good teammates. “We’re just asking them to play together on the floor. Now I think this group is different. They do enjoy being around each other.”

West Virginia, which gets 10 valuable practice sessions prior to the foreign tour, will play three games while in Spain, starting on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern time) against the Madrid All-Stars. WVU will then travel to three Valencia Basketball Academy for a game on Friday, Aug. 9 at 1:30 (ET). It will close out the tour on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 1:30 (ET) against the Barcelona All-Stars. The Mountaineers return home on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Huggins expects strong competition from the Spanish teams.

“I don’t know what they’ll do defensively, but offensively, they’ll probably penetrate and pitch,” he said. “They’re good. Basketball in Spain is very, very good. This will be a great challenge for a bunch of young guys.”

* * * * * *

Huggins was asked if there is anything new to report on the status of Ethan Richardson, the junior college center who signed with West Virginia this summer but has not yet enrolled in school. “None that I can disclose,” WVU’s coach said cryptically.

Richardson is the only Mountaineer signee who is not yet with the team. All the other members are expected to accompany the squad to Spain.

Home Page forums Huggins Likes His Team’s Chemistry

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    Huggins Likes His Team’s Chemistry MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–So the question was, with so many new parts, is Bob Huggins’ West Virginia basketball team ready
    [See the full post at: Huggins Likes His Team’s Chemistry]


    Huggs may like the team chemistry, I like the talent.  We have talent and depth at every position.  Could use another big or wing, but I like what we have.

    Depth at PG with a true PG that can dazzle you when the other guys are on board.

    Shooters…. Shooters with size.  When did this ever happen.

    Prolly the best duo at 4/5 in the league.

    IMO at least 3 NBA caliber players in Culver, Tshwebe and Matthews.  And that doesn’t discount the looks Haley will get from the next level.  And we just don’t know what Taz and McNeal will do yet.


    I’m going to reserve judgment on the perimeter shooting – agreed it looks like there are some candidates, but I don’t want to label that a strength just yet.

    However, agreed that the talent does look good — and buttressed by the clear attitude improvement, the effects there could be multiplied.


    Our outside game last year was non existent.  Our opponents outshot us by almost 5% from 3.  3.16% vs 3.61%.  Addition of guys that have proven in the JC level they can hit it at around 40% can only help.  Add that they have 6’4″ frames is another advantage vs the smallish G’s we have.  You may not want to put your neck out and call it a strength, but any improvement in this area is a good thing.  Last year we were just HORRIBLE from deep and that had a negative effect on the rest of the game.


    Agreed the potential is there, and good point on the height and being able to shoot over closeouts.

    No argument that it should be better, and on the effects it had on last year’s team. And with the addition of Oscar, rebounding should be even better with the big three inside to turn a few misses into points. As you say, all of those things work together, and if you can just add a few points with better shooting and a couple more stickbacks per game, it could make all the difference.

    Still wondering if the push back of the 3-point line will have an effect, but neither Huggs nor Everhart think it will have a major effect, so we’ll go with that.


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Home Page forums Huggins Likes His Team’s Chemistry

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