In Kansas City, Missouri, West Virginia HC Bob Huggins and G Taz Sherman spoke at the Big 12 media day, on Wednesday.
G Sean McNeil was also in attendance.
Huggins spoke with the Big 12 media, and Sherman spoke with ESPN analysts Fran Fraschilla and Matt Schick.
In the 10-minute window that Huggins had to speak with media, the future hall of fame coach was asked about conference realignment, who will replace Deuce McBride and Derek Culver, and who’s the better fisher between himself and Baylor HC Scott Drew.
In September, the Big 12 officially announced the additions of Cincinnati, BYU, Houston and UCF. Huggins was asked about the new members of the Big 12 that are set to join as early as 2023.
“I really haven’t thought about it all that much,” Huggins said. “I mean I obviously have gotten a lot of questions about Cincinnati coming in. But I don’t think you’ll get how hard this league really is. It’s so hard that’s about all you can think about.”
Huggins coached at Cincinnati from 1989-2005, bringing the Bearcats to a Final Four appearance in 1992, and two Elite-8 appearances in 1993 and 1996. Cincinnati is a second home to Huggins.
“It’s a great place to go. It’s a great town for one, the Shoemaker Center is a really good place to play. They got a great fanbase. I think they’ll certainly fit into what we have going here,” Huggins said. “It’s a basketball town, they’re making it a football town but it’s a basketball town.”
During the offseason, the Mountaineers had to reload after losing the top two scorers from last year’s team in Deuce McBride and Derek Culver.
So who’s going to fill in the void and help replace those two?
“I wish I knew the answer to that,” Huggins said. “Losing Derek is a big hit for us because he got hard rebounds. I don’t know if we have a replacement for that.”
Sherman was one of the key players, alongside McNeil and Gabe Osabuohien, who returned to West Virginia for the 2021-22 season.
“It’s a great thing because we can coach and teach the newcomers,” Huggins said. “We have a lot of newcomers, it’s probably equally half. We can teach the younger guys, we’re going to teach the newcomers though the way West Virginia, the way coach Huggs system is just all and better.”
Why did Sherman come back?
“Well, I want to give Huggs a national championship,” Sherman said. “He’s been super close and I feel like we’ve had teams since I’ve been here that we could’ve done it. I feel like this year could be one of those years.”
Once they leave Kansas City, Huggins, Sherman and McNeil will look towards bringing the team together to travel to Columbus, Ohio, to scrimmage Dayton in a closed-door practice between the two, on Saturday.