Ditching the traditional attire of a black windbreaker or suit, Bob Huggins took the podium Tuesday afternoon during the Big XII’s Media Day in Kansas City sporting a gold vest and bow-tie. And as you’d expect, the 64-year-old West Virginia head coach added enough wit and wisdom to his commentary to match his outfit.
— “I think we’re alright,” Huggins said with a chuckle when asked about his team and he quickly praised his senior guards to support his modest statement. “I think our guard play is really good. Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. are as good a pair of guards that there is anywhere in the country.”
— “I’m going to try and be a little smarter to answer your question. I probably won’t be, but I’m going to try,” Huggins replied when asked about the new officiating rules that seem to favor offensive basketball rather than the defense. Of course, Huggins narrated a short story about how his father advised a younger Huggins that “there is a game within the game” many years ago after his Walsh Cavaliers conceded 52 free throw shots to Urbana University. The point is, Huggins’ notorious pressure defense will be a cause for concern for not only opposing teams but for officials as well.
— “We can’t replace him. He’s been really, really good in practice. He’s good [and] it’s hard to replace somebody that good.” It should come as no surprise whom Huggins was speaking of in that quote. Ever since the NCAA made Esa Ahmad’s 10-game suspension official earlier this month, there has been much speculation as to what the Mountaineers will do in order to replace his production. Apparently, Huggins is still figuring that out as well. “At this time, I’d be lying if I told you I knew what we were going to do. I don’t” Huggins did preface by adding he will attempt to replace Ahmad’s contributions “by committee.” And word is that the newcomers are coming along nicely.
And if you are wondering if Huggins’ new look may make its way to the sidelines this season, don’t bet on it.