One would think, knowing Huggins’ public persona, that he would have flipped off after blowing a lead at Pitt by missing free throws and then losing in overtime. One would think practice would become 120 minutes of hell, but that is where Huggins becomes so clever as a coach.
He believes, with the timing, coming off a Saturday-Monday double disaster that his teams needs not hard work and punishment but a couple of days off, and so it was to be that on Tuesday they rested.
“We’ve had pretty tough stretch,” Huggins said. “I wanted to give them a couple days off. I was going to do that, win or lose.”
Off a win, it would have looked like a prize and have been lost in the translation.
Coming off a loss the players clearly understand that it is to give them a chance to shake off the negativity and gain a second wind for the stretch run of a season that still holds tremendous promise.
“I honestly can’t wait until our next practice and our next game,” WVU point guard Darryl “Truck” Bryant said a half hour after the 98-95 triple overtime loss to Pitt. “That’s the only thing I can think about. I’ve got a real bad taste in my mouth.”
Huggins understood their eagerness to get back to the grind.
“Well, if they didn’t, we’d probably have to check their pulse,” Huggins said. “When you lose a game like that, I’m sure you’d want to go back in, but the whole battle is you have to want to go back in all the time. Doesn’t matter if you win 10 in a row of just gave a game away. You should want to get back in there all the time.”