WVU’s Huggins: “We Have Guys Who Can Make Shots”
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has maintained throughout the preseason that his team has the capability to shoot better from the floor than previous squads. Coming off a season in which his team made 43.6% of its attempts from the field (230th nationally) , and 35.3% from 3-point range (156th), that’s a welcome observation.
“We have enough guys that can make shots. Lamont (West) is a proven commodity but we have other guys that can make it,” Huggins said on the eve of West Virginia’s exhibition game against Penn State. “There are guys we have to tell to shoot it. Sags (Konate) was trying to drive it all the time yesterday, and I was telling him ‘Please shoot it’. How many times have I had to say that? I have to tell him, and Jermaine (Haley), but I don’t have to tell Esa.”
Mixed in those observations are equal parts wisecracking and serious observation, with the sending of messages clear. WVU will have to make more of its shots this year, because it’s probably going to get fewer chances, as the turnovers it forces are likely to decrease, at least initially.
“It’s a work in progress. It’s not very good yet,” Huggins said of the press. “The rotations aren’t there yet. And we have so many new guys who don’t understand how hard you have to play.”
Huggins did note that veterans have expanded their games in a number of ways. From Konate’s increased shooting range to Chase Harler’s comfort level to Lamont West’s expansion, he has liked what he has seen.
“Lamont is trying to guard. He didn’t know there was that end of the floor,” the veteran coach said, unable to avoid a gentle barb before switching back to support mode. “He’s trying. He is trying to be a much more well-rounded player. He has expanded his game, really, at both ends of the floor.”
On the injury front, guard Beetle Bolden is expected to miss this game, and could be out for a longer period due to issues with his hand and wrist.