The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

December 24, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Bench a great motivator

MORGANTOWN — Once upon a time when Bob Huggins was the Bearcat stage of his life, he had a player whom he called “Turnover and Re-Turnover.”

“It was,” he said, “50-50 if he was going to turn the ball over. But if he did, he’d go down and steal it right back.”

It wasn’t necessarily out of any great defensive ability that he was able to do that.

It was out of fear.

“He knew if he didn’t get the ball back he was coming out,” Huggins said.

See Bob Huggins learned the greatest lesson that any coach can learn and he did so long, long ago.

“The bench,” he said, “is the greatest motivator you have as a coach.”

You can put players on the treadmill, which he does, and you can get in their face and shout until their face turns blue, but in the end the only thing they really hear is that they aren’t playing.

Don’t believe it.

Ask Cam Thoroughman, the man who puts the blue collar in West Virginia’s gold and blue, what he was thinking midway through the second half when the Mountaineers were protecting a 12-point lead in a game they would win, 76-66, over Ole Miss as the ball slipped out of his hands and was stolen away.

The moment the ball got loose and began moving in the other direction, Thoroughman admits he thought about Huggins telling him about the player he nicknamed “Turnover and Re-Turnover”.

“I knew if he made that basket I was coming out,” Thoroughman said.

Now the thing is, the Mississippi player had a jump out of the gate on Thoroughman and clear sailing to the hoop. Huggins already was wheeling around on his heels to get someone to get into the game and replace Thoroughman.

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads