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Huggs Talks Guard Play, Scheduling

Bob Huggins talked with the national media on Monday morning and touched on a couple of different topics, including the play of leading scorer Eron Harris, who is averaging over 18 points per game so far this season.

Huggins says the Big12 has been very helpful with scheduling this year.

"He’s a heck of a player," said Huggins. "He’s been pretty good all year. He had a great game against Wisconsin in Cancun. He’s been very good all year. I think he’s probably been as consistent and is shooting the ball as well and getting to the foul line (as well) as anybody we have, or maybe anybody in the league."

The sophomore sensation is not the only guard receiving a lot of national attention, though. Junior Juwan Staten is averaging 16 points, six rebounds and six assists this year, and has one of the highest assist-to-turnover rations in the country. According to Huggs, that has a lot to do with the work he is doing off the court, rather than on it.

"He’s always been a talented guy," said the Mountaineer head coach. "He’s really just immersed himself in basketball and has studied film. He actually came over to my house (this summer) and wanted film of (Nick) Van Exel and he wanted film of (Steve) Logan, guys who I’ve had in the past and are very successful."

That has led to an all-new understanding of the game and Huggins' system, says the coach.

"He watched those films and he’s a guy that really studies the opponent and really studies our playbook," said Huggins. "Before, he kind of knew who was supposed to come open first, but I’m not sure who he knew, if that didn’t work, who was supposed to come open second and third. He’s just done a great job. He’s as acknowledgeable about what we’re doing as probably anybody I’ve ever had."

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The Mountaineers traveled down to Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday for Saturday's game against TCU, then made the quick trip over to Lubbock for today's game. This two games-in-Texas-in-three-days trip is new to the schedule this year, and something Huggins and West Virginia pushed for after last year's rigorous travel schedule.

The Big12 Conference has been more than happy to help out, said the coach.

"The league has been terrific," he said. "We got two trips where we stay out (on the road) and play. That helps us out a bunch. There are a couple of other little things that I think we can do that will help everybody, but I can’t say enough about the league has tried to help us with our travel issues."

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West Virginia's opponent tonight, Texas Tech, has a legendary coach of their own in Tubby Smith. The one-time Kentucky coach led the Wildcats to the National Championship in 1998, but says he still admires the Mountaineers' head coach.

"Bob has been in the trenches and come through the ranks – through Akron, through Cincinnati, through Kansas State. He’s had a few jobs, so our careers are similar in that regard. Now, he’s a much better coach obviously and won a lot more games," said Smith. "Bob is just a good-natured person. There are not a lot of people that don’t like Bob Huggins. We’ve spent a lot of time together at different venues, at different places outside of basketball, so I have gotten to know him. I’ve got a lot of respect for Bob Huggins and how he coaches and how hard his teams play."

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