West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins met with members of the media Thursday afternoon for the first time this preseason.
With respect to the various COVID-19 precautions the NCAA and college basketball are taking for the 2020-21 season, Huggins and WVU athletics had several changes to WVU’s schedule to announce Thursday.
- WVU’s first practice will be Thursday, Oct. 15
- Teams can practice 30 times over 42 days prior to their first game
- Teams are permitted to schedule up to 27 games this season
- WVU will play 18 Big 12 games, up to 9 non-conference games
- WVU will play in the Big 12/Big East Battle
- WVU will play in the Big 12/SEC Challenge
- WVU will play in a three-game event in South Dakota
- This event will feature all the teams originally scheduled to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis except for one team that has already been replaced
- That leaves 4 games left to schedule, which will finalize after other conferences have made their decisions on non-conference games
- The Big 12 schedule will be released by the end of the month
- The NCAA ruled no exhibitions or closed scrimmages
- WVU expects its first home game will be the first week of Dec.
- There will be no Big 12 media day, the conference will do something virtually the week of Nov. 10
- WVU will not play Pitt this season
Huggins said the rule and schedule change that hurts the most is not allowing scrimmages.
“I think to most of us the most disturbing thing is they took away a scrimmage from us,” Huggins said. “We’re going to go play three games in three days without ever playing against an opponent. I think that’s not fair to our guys.”
Huggins said he was also disappointed that WVU’s original non-conference schedule for 2020-21 will not be played.
“The problem is we already had a schedule and we had to just about blow it up and start all over again,” Huggins said. “In starting it all over again, you’ve got conferences that, like ours, still don’t have their conference schedule so they want to play non-conference games but they don’t know if they’re going to be able to play non-conference games. It’s been as tough for as long as I can remember.”
WVU was originally scheduled to play non-conference games against Fairleigh Dickinson, Pitt, Stony Brook and Bowling Green. WVU has reportedly scheduled a home game against Richmond for this season.