It didn’t take long for first year Herd basketball coach Dan D’Antoni to get under Coach Huggins skin. It started last week when D’Antoni suggested that the annual Capital Classic should be taken out of Charleston and played alternating years between Huntington and Morgantown. Huggins was quick to point out that the game, much like the football series, was one implemented by WV legislature and was played in Charleston for that very reason. Huggins also hinted at the fact that he was not too keen on playing the series at all.
Monday night during his weekly talk show presented by IMG there were no hints or insinuations, Huggins could not have been more blunt and it all started with this comment by D’Antoni after the Mountaineers win Sunday night, ““I heard suggestions for home and home. Here’s my suggestion: Morgantown, Charleston. Next year Charleston, Huntington and just keep it that way. It’s good for the state. If they back out now they’re afraid of us. We’re coming back.”
One thing you do not do his say Huggins is scared. Huggins pointed out that his Mountaineers have played Duke and have played the likes of Jim Boeheim and Syracuse, he is NOT scared of Marshall. Huggins went on to say, “that is laughable”.
But it didn’t stop there, “”But what’s most laughable. How about this? He said “We’re back”. That’s their 6th loss in a row. Thats laughable. We’re back?” Marshall currently has an RPI ranked above 200, something Huggins pointed out does not help WVU in the least. “We try to schedule teams in the rpi top 100, Lafayette is ranked in the top 100, even VMI has a higher rpi than Marshall”.
Just like football, strength of schedule plays an important role come selection time for the NCAA tournament. Make no mistake, Marshall needs WVU more than the Mountaineers need the Herd. This is not a slight toward Marshall but merely fact. Despite D’Antoni playing the “it’s good for the state” card Huggins was clear in his assessment of situation stating, “it’s not my job to support them, I don’t think that is in my contract”.
Huggins ended his rant my saying he would not be upset if the series ended. But he did say, “We will be there next year. We’re scared? That’s laughable”.
You can listen to a replay of the entire show here.