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Bock: WVU Basketball Faces Copious Amount of Adversity to Overcome After Harrison Firing



When you just thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. West Virginia’s basketball program parted ways with long-time assistant Larry Harrison on Thursday afternoon. A move where the timing was unexpected.

The speculation of the why’s of the move has made the situation even worse. The move has not been supported by the former Mountaineers that have spoken out on social media.

“Wow never did I ever think I’ll see the day that coach Harrison leaves WVU with Huggs,” Jevon Carter said. “It just doesn’t make sense. Like at all smh. Something isn’t right.”

“Larry Harrison has done so much for me and my basketball career. I have seen firsthand how his work ethic, honesty and driven mindset have affected Mountaineer basketball in a positive way,” Logan Routt said. “It is a true shame and disappointment that he will no longer be on staff at WVU.”

Miles McBride, Taz Sherman, Gabe Osabuohien and Teyvon Myers are just some of the other former players that have disagreed with the firing of Harrison.

WV Sports Now reached out to Harrison for a comment but he stated that he’s not ready to speak on the matter at this time but will at a later date.

WVU head coach Bob Huggins is a life-long friend of Harrison. The two have been coaching together for 24 years, 16 at West Virginia (2007-23) and eight at Cincinnati (1989-97). Huggins mentioned on his radio show just hours after the news broke that he didn’t have as much say in the firing as people believe. The Basketball Hall of Fame coach briefly spoke with the media about it on Friday morning.

“A decision has been changed within our basketball staff was a difficult one. Larry and I have worked together for 24 years and shared many great moments. Decision was made in best interest of Mountaineer basketball,” Huggins said. “I’m not going to take any further questions on the matter and will now move along to your questions about the upcoming Oklahoma game.”

Bob Huggins Opens Press Conference with Statement on Larry Harrison

The former players’ reaction mixed with the fan’s speculation has not made a great 24 hours for the basketball program. You can only imagine how the team feels right now.

West Virginia currently sits at 10-6 and on a four-game losing streak as they look to earn their first Big 12 win of the season. This team was sitting high and mighty when they were ranked in the AP poll just a few weeks ago. They had a good resume and quality losses to back it up. After tough two-game road and home stretches, WVU is desperate just to win a game now.

Many of the current players have stayed quiet after the news of Harrison’s dismissal but the ones that spoke out were obviously saddened.

“Will always be my coach. Stay strong coach, love always.” WVU G Joe Toussaint wrote on Instagram.

“Forever thankful for what you’ve done for me and my game coach. Love you coach,” WVU G Josiah Davis said.

Now this team, without their top assistant, heads into a must-needed road win at 11 a.m. local time against Oklahoma. The last time WVU won a conference road game? February 23, 2021. Almost 23 months ago.

West Virginia seemed to push off the doubters that bring up last year’s disaster early in the season. But after the recent month of play, the dark cloud of negativity is looming over the program.

Saying Saturday’s game against Oklahoma is a must-win game is an understatement. It either could be the potential turning point of the season or it could be the continuation of a downward trend. WVU’s players have already dealt with a lot this season and the Harrison news just tops it off.

The players are faced with a ton of adversity that they’ll need to overcome against the Sooners. They’ll be looking for their first Big 12 win, their first conference road win in almost two years and they’ll also be looking to get their mojo back. They’ll have to do all of this without Harrison on the sidelines.

If West Virginia can strand together a win on Saturday in Norman, that’ll go a long way for the current vibe in the program.

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