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‘Can’t Quit Playing,’ Huggins Wants to See More Consistency

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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Following a 74-59 win over Akron in a charity exhibition game on Friday night, WVU head coach Bob Huggins shared his thoughts about how the team looked.

“We played good in spurts, I guess. Taz [Sherman] was really, really good,” Huggins said. “The bad was we didn’t continue to play, we let up. I thought our defense early on was pretty good, and then it wasn’t any good.”

Huggins has a point about Taz Sherman.

Sherman finished Friday night with 29 points in 22 minutes. The senior guard shot 10-of-14 from the field against the Zips. The future Hall of Fame coach emphasized how important it will be to have Sherman out on the floor as much as he can.

Huggins also has a point about the defense.

In the first half, the Mountaineers gave Akron a lot of trouble moving the ball around. The Zips committed 15 turnovers in the first half, and just five in the second.

“We came out and had a lot of energy. Then, all of a sudden, our energy left us,” Huggins said. “We did not have the same kind of energy.”

“You can’t quit playing. You just can’t quit playing,” he added.

In the first half, West Virginia started to press the ball, all 94 feet of the court, for a few minutes. A few turnovers from Akron’s early total came from the WVU press defense.

Maybe a ‘Press Virginia’ return? Not so fast.

“I kept looking, I did not see JC [Jevon Carter], Dax [Daxter Miles] or Sags [Sagaba Konate] out there,” Huggins joked.

The 68-year-old coach did find some positives out of players like Sherman, Dimon Carrigan, and Isaiah Cottrell. Huggins liked Carrigan’s presence in the paint on defense, while praising how Cottrell can space the floor and force opposing bigs to pick him up at the perimeter.

Final thoughts from Huggs?

“We’ve got a long way to go,” Huggins said. “To this day, I’m not sure what combinations are good.”

Huggins’ players will have a chance to show a full 40 minutes of consistent play when WVU welcomes Oakland for the season opener inside the WVU Coliseum on Nov. 9.

(Top Photo: Kelsie LeRose – WVSN)

 

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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