The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 1, 2011

Huggins: ‘I think we’ll be OK’

FAIRMONT — Bob Huggins made his annual visit to Fairmont Wednesday to tell the local natives about his newest West Virginia University basketball team — the one with seven freshmen and a huge Turkish center who has been helping the newcomers even more than expected.

Members of the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs gathered at Westchester Village to hear the Mountaineer coach discuss his 2011-12 team.

His team has started off with a 4-1 record, and Huggins said it might be 5-0 if it could shoot fouls better.

The Mountaineers travel to Mississippi State for a 9 p.m. game Saturday and will play Big 12 opponent Kansas State on Thursday night at Wichita, Kansas.

The team then returns home next Saturday to face Miami.

“I think we’ll be OK,” Huggins said. “The freshmen are getting better. They really are. They are a whole lot better than they were when we first started.”

He says his newest team is made up of ”great kids who want to please you. They want to win.”

He says he invited his team over for Thanksgiving dinner.

“Sometimes you have teams that eat and leave. Sometimes you have teams that eat and stay around and eat again. This group’s upperclassmen went home, but the freshmen stuck around and ate a second time.”

Huggins punctuated his remarks with humorous quips — some of which have made the rounds, but all of which are good for many laughs.

• “My first coaching job was at Walsh College. The brothers there took the vow of poverty and wanted me to live it.”

• “I went home after each loss in my first season and asked my wife if she thought I could sell insurance for a living.”

• “He (his supervisor) appreciated how hard we worked and all the hours we put in. He told us if we could keep the program right where we had it, we would have a job the rest of our lives. I said, ‘Brother, I can’t speak for Pete, but you just scared the hell out of me.”

• “I wish you wouldn’t read off all those places I coached,” he said to the master of ceremonies. “That makes me sound like someone who couldn’t keep a job. We were 14-16 in my first season as head coach.”

• “You won’t either,” he said in answer to a Fairmont resident who inquired about a certain yellow suit he had not seen in quite some time.

• “We (Deniz Kilicli and Huggins) got along OK before. I just didn’t like the way he played.”

• “We’re shooting 59 percent (at the foul line) as a team. I could kick that many in.”

• “Deniz is extremely intelligent. He came over here (from Turkey) speaking no English but said he learned the language by watching TV. I could go to Turkey and watch TV over there all my life and not learn to speak the language.”

• Huggins’ wife bought him a dog, and he admitted he knew nothing about dogs.

“I taught him to run after a Frisbee, retrieve a Frisbee and to sit down. My coaching philosophy came from that. If they don’t do what I want, they sit down. Then they get on the treadmill and run their rear off. It goes 17 miles an hour.”

• A member of the audience asked him how he’s going to get fans to go to Stillwater, Okla. (one of the new Big 12 sites).

“I can’t get them to come to Morgantown,” he said. “How do I get them to go to Stillwater?”

Bob Huggins — always the humorist!

Email John Veasey at

Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 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

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    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

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    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

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos