CLEVELAND — Here’s the choice you have.
You can walk barefoot across a bed of red hot coals, sit naked in a freezer at minus-10 degrees for an hour, swim across a mile-wide lake filled with hungry piranhas and angry alligators or you can show up for Bob Huggins’ first practice this week.
Not to influence you any way, but I’d take any of the first three choice — maybe all at once — before I’d show my face at Huggins’ practice … and Huggins was the winning coach in Saturday’s 80-78 game at Cleveland State.
If you’re into heroics, in the end it was a layup by Da’Sean Butler — isn’t it always him? — off a pass from Kevin Jones with 1.2 seconds remaining that accounted for the difference, but if you think Huggins was bouncing happily off the bench when his No. 6-ranked Mountaineers went to 8-0 with this victory, you don’t know Huggins.
This is a man who can find something wrong in Christmas, so rest assured when his team plays as badly as it played against Cleveland State’s press, rest assured that his reaction at the end made “Bah, humbug!” sound like “Merry Christmas.”
“I’ve tried dealing with them,” Huggins said of his players. “They’re going to have to start dealing with me.”
That, by the way, was not a threat, just a reality of life as a West Virginia player when you are playing the game the way the Mountaineers are.
And how would that be, you ask?
This is how Huggins sees it.
“We just think things are easy,” he said. “We can’t get five guys playing hard at once. I don’t think we’ve 10 minutes all years where we had guys on the same page. I’ve never had a team give up so many layups in my life.”
CLEVELAND — Here’s the choice you have.
- Bob Herzel
Saban, family happy at Alabama
Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.
HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations
Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?
WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’
West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Smallwood puts future in jeopardy
The last thing West Virginia’s struggling football program needed as twilight was setting on Bastille Day in Morgantown was to have one of its own whisked off to the North Central Regional Jail on a fugitive warrant from another state, especially a player who had figured to play a key role in the resurrection of a program gone bad.
WVU player arrested in Delaware case
West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood has been arrested by university police and is being held at North Central Regional Jail awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Delaware.
WVU hoping to add two non-conference contests
West Virginia is nearing the completion of deals to play football games against long-time rival Virginia Tech, now in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Tennessee of the Southeastern Conference, according to a source close to the negotiations.
An announcement is expected shortly.
HERTZEL COLUMN: MLB All-Star game biggest celebration of top athletes
You will pardon me if I find something else to do when the Pro Bowl rolls around, or if I try to find a “Three Stooges” marathon when it’s time for the NHL All-Star game. As for the NBA All-Star game, I’d rather watch a replay of a four-year-old Uruguay-Ethiopia World Cup soccer match in which I knew the outcome.
Howes learns to ‘never settle’ as WVU administrator
You probably don’t know much about Terri Howes, even though she is a rather high-ranking executive in the West Virginia University athletic department.
“I like it that way,” she said, sitting in a large office at the Coliseum, decorated with pictures and memorabilia, a jar of candy sitting by the door for visitors to dip into.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Rich Rod’s return not impossible
As you may guess, in the wake of LeBron James’ decision to let bygones be millions and return to his rooters in Cleveland, more than once was I approached with someone wanting to know if this opened the door for a return to West Virginia University of their once-reviled coach Rich Rodriguez.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Trickett best option as a leader
In the end, West Virginia University’s decision to place the mantle of starting quarterback upon veteran Clint Trickett was less about quarterback than it was about leadership.
This is not to say that Trickett lacks the talent to succeed as quarterback in coach Dana Holgorsen’s system.
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