The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

October 20, 2012

Huggins: ‘We’re in this to win’

MORGANTOWN — Proclaiming “there ain’t no rearview mirror in this truck,” West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins said goodbye to last year and turned loose the 2012-13 version of his Mountaineers in the Gold and Blue Preview before 5,120 fans at the Coliseum Friday night.

Two things were obvious from the game that was won by the Gold team that was led by Deniz Kilicli’s 26 points and 23 from Jabari Hinds over a Blue team that was led by newcomer Matt Humphrey’s 23 points, 94-80.

First, this is a totally different team from last year’s, as promised by Huggins, a team that is deep in guards, can make 3-point shots and can rebound. Second, it is a team intent on having a huge season.

“We’re in this to win,” Huggins said.

There were any number of things that would make you think they could accomplish that noticeable on this night, not the least of which was most obvious even before the team’s began playing.

Da’Sean Butler was back where he belongs, on the floor with the Mountaineers, the newest graduate assistant on Huggins’ staff, and if his winning magic can be transferred to this season’s team it could be the most important addition of the off-season.

But again, they are driving through this year without that “rearview mirror,” so it is best to see what this night showed.

To begin with you look to the guards, which was where the Mountaineers were really lacking last season.

“I like our guards,” Huggins admitted. “They’ve got a chance to be pretty good.”

And the best part, he points out, three have three years left, and two have four years.

Two players in particular looked like different players.

Hinds was a scoring machine, hitting 9 of 17 shots and canning 3 of 5 3-point shots. And Aaron Brown came on like a monster, scoring 16 points while hitting 7 of 13 shots, 2 of 6 from 3.

“Hinds was in the gym all summer,” Huggins noted, talking about his determination to make himself a shooter.

Then there were two debuts of transfers. Point guard Juwan Staten scored 14 points but took 14 shots, seeming to be a guy who never saw a shot he didn’t like. That’s not exactly what you are looking for on this team from your point guard, but he also had eight assists and only one turnover, which means you’ll excuse some of those shots.

And then there was Matt Humphrey, a much-traveled transfer who went from his home in Chicago to play at Oregon, then Boston College, then after getting his degree moving on to West Virginia for his final season of eligibility.

Humphrey is another who likes to shoot, as evidenced by the 18 he took, but they produced those 23 points. He also had three steals and a couple of assists.

On the other end of the transfer spectrum was the big man in the middle, Aaric Murray.

Not that Murray didn’t almost get a triple-double, it was just that it was a quadruple-double. Oh, the 12 points were all right, although most of them came at garbage time, including a crazy three – one of four the 6-11 center took.

And there was nothing wrong with the 12 rebounds, either.

But Murray also committed eight fouls – they hedged with the rules a little – and had six turnovers in what was a shaky debut.

Huggins wrote it off to him having a broken hand that set him back last year, the one moment on the night that Huggins found use for a rearview mirror.

The player who was hardest to recognize, though, was old standby Deniz Kilicli. Oh, his game hasn’t changed much, and if it has it has improved, for he scored 26 points and had nine rebounds.

It was just that he’s toughened up his body and showed up on the floor completely clean-shaven.

The next time the Mountaineers take the floor is for a Nov. 6 exhibition game when Joe Mazzulla returns as an assistant coach at Glenville State.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
    Forsey, a native of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, was representing Team Canada. She was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in the women’s 5,000-meter run, finishing in ninth place overall in 16:02.55.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.

    July 25, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.

    July 25, 2014

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