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Bob Huggins Shows Optimism: ‘We Have a Chance to be Really Good’

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — During WVU head coach Bob Huggins’ preseason press conference, the Hall of Fame coach showed much optimism about his new team.

Huggins is bringing in nine new players; four transfers, three JuCo additions and two true freshmen. Pair that up with the five returning players from last season and you have a mixed bag of unknown.

“I think we have a chance to be really good, not good, but really good,” Huggins said on Monday. “We’ve got more guys who I think that can score. We do have some guys with experience. We’ve got good size. We’ve got a couple of guys who can really shoot. It’ll be really interesting. It’ll be fun because it’ll be competitive.”

Huggins commented on many of his players and how their developments are going. One common statement was said about a lot of the guys: the ball goes in.

“The ball goes in, the ball actually goes in. It’s great. It’s more fun to watch that,” Huggins said.

Huggins did say the team could improve their ball handling and finishing around the basket. So it’s not all coaches talk in September. Last season West Virginia was 328th in the country in 2-point field goals. Many points were left on the board from missed layups.

One big that Huggins brought in to help change that was JuCo big Jimmy Bell Jr. Bell played last season at Moberly Area CC in Missouri averaging 9.3 points on 59 percent shooting. Bell came in at nearly 300 pounds but is working his butt off to become a great player.

“Jimmy has really worked at it. He’s worked four times a day and nobody made him. He wants to be a good player. He has great feet for a guy that big, great feet,” Huggins said. “He has been playing at 285 [pounds], I wouldn’t mind him getting down to 260. 285, he’s hard to move now.”

West Virginia will play for the first time to the public in an inter-squad scrimmage on Oct. 14 at the WVU Coliseum. The team will then participate in one exhibition game on Oct. 28 before kicking off the year against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 7.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. Ethan has covered WVU men’s basketball, football and recruiting for the past two years. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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