Morgantown, W.VA. – Late morning Monday had a bright spot for members of the media as men’s basketball head coach Bob Huggins addressed the media from his home office via Zoom. Zoom conferences have become the new normal with West Virginia sports, and really the rest of the world. For about 30 minutes, Huggins answered questions from the media and gave a brief view of his home office.
Huggins is not one for the technology, pointing out from the start that his daughter Jenna helped set his Zoom call up and that while the team has used Zoom several times, he’s got “people” to take care of it for him.
“I’ve got young guys in the office that know how to to do this.”
With a season cut short, a well-known shelter in place issued for many states across the country and recruiting impacted (April is normally a busy month for Huggy Bear), the head coach was asked if he’d watched anything good on television lately. His reply: seven or eight episodes of Naked and Afraid the night before.
“It’s pretty amazing . . . I wouldn’t want to do it, but it’s kinda fun to watch.”
Coach Huggins then addressed his remarks from last week where he said he would love to see the NCAA Tournament be played later this summer, prior to the start of the 2020-2021 season. When asked about the feedback he had been getting on those ideas, Huggins pointed out that he was getting a lot of feedback, just not feedback from the NCAA (and that you don’t reach out to the NCAA, they reach out to you), “I’m getting a lot of feedback, but none of that makes any difference.”
Last week, Oscar Tshiebwe declared that he was exploring his options with the NBA Draft, but with the option to return to West Virginia University (and Mountaineer basketball) open. This is not new for the veteran head coach, but what is new is the way the Draft will happen this year. The NBA Draft may be moved to August, there’s no combine, and Tshiebwe will likely not have any in-person time with any of the professional teams. Huggins was asked several times about this situation, and the head coach is confident Tshiebwe will make the best choice for himself and trusts his coaching staff.
Huggins remarked “Oscar trusts us, he’s going to listen to us” when asked what guidance from the program Oscar had in this decision-making process.
Huggins was asked his thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic, a question that has been asked to every coach across college sports the last few weeks. The response from Huggins was the response everyone needed to hear, “Well the pandemic is obviously a pain in the butt,” Huggins replied, “But there’s obviously not a whole lot we can do.”
On the topic of recruiting, the coach pointed out that following Brandon Knapper’s transfer, the team has one scholarship left and he’s not in a rush to fill it. Huggins pointed out that recruiting is like fishing, “If the ones you catch aren’t very good, ya throw ’em back in and tell ’em to grow up.” Huggins also went on to discuss how happy he is with the team he currently has and how much his team enjoys one another. Despite the circumstances, Huggins’s team is still in a good spot and the head coach is happy about that.
“I really like our team . . . I think it’s a team built for success.”