The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 27, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: Does Huggins make the Hall of Fame?

MORGANTOWN — Considering that his post-season fate may well hang in the balance over the last three games of the regular season, the last thing Bob Huggins wanted to discuss was whether or not he is a legitimate candidate for the Basketball Hall of Fame, but it was a subject that came up in the midst of a recent interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Their interest, of course, runs deeper than just the fact that Huggins is coaching against Cincinnati at 2 p.m. today in a game that both teams really need to win, the Bearcats even more than West Virginia University if they are to have any NCAA Tournament hopes at all.

Huggins, as has been well documented in publications that range from the Wall Street Journal to the National Enquirer, spent the bulk of his career in Cincinnati, a successful coach whose career was often wrapped in controversy.

In truth, it was Huggins who brought the subject up as he talked about the competitive nature of the Big East Conference.

“You’ve got a Hall of Fame coach at Syracuse, a Hall of Fame coach at Connecticut, a future Hall of Fame coach at Louisville and probably a future Hall of Fame coach at Villanova,” Huggins told Bill Koch of the Enquirer.

Koch turned that right back at Huggins, suggesting that he might also be a Hall of Fame coach.

That’s probably not true,” he said. “But I have been very fortunate to have great players.”

Perhaps it is time we discussed this matter, for Huggins is certainly an interesting figure when it comes to what is and isn’t a Hall of Fame coach.

His record at Cincinnati surely is impeccable, 14 NCAA Tournament teams in 16 years, including a Final Four team. He won 399 games and lost only 127 during that time.

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