MORGANTOWN,W.Va.–On Thursday morning West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins appeared on the Cook and Joe show on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan to talk about what he’s been doing with the COVID-19 happenings.
Much like many Americans, the fiery coach isn’t enjoying his quarantine life.
“Bored,” he said. “I wrote a letter to CBS Sports Kentucky, which is kind of like the Longhorn Network – they’ve got their own deal going on. You turn it on and you watch the Elite Eight from 19 whatever and it’s Kentucky. I’m tired of seeing Cal (John Calipari).”
Huggins and his players were disappointed in how the season came to an abrupt end. Coming off an upset over Baylor, the Mountaineers were on a high swing and ready to make their post season run.
The season came to an end in a blink of an eye before they even saw the court in Kansas City, Mo.
“I tell you what’s crazy is we practice and we’re feeling really good and the next morning we get up and we have a brunch deal,” he said. ” I go outside of the brunch room and sit down with our assistant AD and he says, ‘Well we’ve got to narrow down our list to 125 people we can let into the arena.’ I’m like, ‘You’re kidding me?’ So we go through this list of all of our boosters and everybody and we get to 125 people and it wasn’t an hour or two later and my AD comes down and says, ‘It’s over with. They’ve canceled everything.’
While Huggins and most of the WVU players will return to the court next season, three seniors didn’t get a chance to go dancing.
Logan Routt and Chase Harler have been there before and Jermaine Haley has never experienced March Madness but the three won’t get a chance to go out in a manor they had hoped.
“This was their last go-around and for them not to be able to play in the conference tournament or the NCAA Tournament was hard,” he said. “I actually just talked to two of them (Wednesday) and they’re still distraught. They’re like everybody else. They’re down to watching CBS Kentucky.”
However, it would be unrealistic to postpone the tournament for the long haul.
Huggins also talked about passing legendary coaches Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith on the all-time NCAA wins list during the season.
“I haven’t thought about it, and I don’t have any idea who is where or what. I’m not into that. I think it’s gratifying when people bring it up, but I don’t dwell on it, that’s for sure,” he said.
Then he touched on his brief tryout with the Philadelphia 76ers and then proceeded to talk about getting cut.
“I was one of three left – the No. 1 pick, the No. 2 pick and myself. The good guys had their own locker rooms and we had like a phys ed locker room kind of thing with the metal lockers,” he said. “So we’re in the locker room after a workout and the trainer comes in. His name was Al Domenico. They called him the Fonz because he looked like Henry Winkler. He was a jokester, and he was always playing jokes on people, and he comes in and he said, ‘You-ins want to know who made the team and who didn’t?’
“The other two guys, they’re the one and two picks, they jump up and say, ‘Man, just tell us who made it!’ Al said, ‘None of you mf-ers’ and he ran out of the room. They thought he was joking, and they are sitting there kind of laughing. But he doesn’t come back.”
“They get up and start going up and down the hallway trying to find him, trying to find Gene Shue or somebody to talk to ask what happened. There’s nobody there. The whole place is cleared out. It was Ursinus College near Philadelphia.
“So, while they’re running up and down the hallway trying to find out what’s going on, I’m grabbing all of the gear I can get my hands on, stuffing them in my bag for mementos and heading out. That’s how I got cut.”
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS