Online Now 272

Huggs Talks Tech, Injuries and Hope

Throughout the year, West Virginia has struggled with uptempo, athletic, sweet-shooting teams. On Saturday, however, they will be playing Texas Tech, a team Bob Huggins says is far more notable for their inside game.

Huggins says that Henderson (pictured) is "not 100%."

"I think the biggest thing is when you look at them is that all three of their bigs are shooting over fifty percent from the floor," said Huggins. "They're efficient around the basket. They take good shots and make a lot of them that they shoot."

In fact, the one player the Mountaineer head coach targeted the most during this afternoon's teleconference was Jaye Crockett, someone who does not even start for the Red Raiders.

"I think they've got some versatility, particularly with Crockett," said Huggins, who anointed Tech's leading scorer as the Big12's Sixth Man of the Year. "He bounces it really well and he can step out and shoot it."

Another aspect of the Red Raiders that worries Huggins is their ability to switch defenses seamlessly.

"They really play multiple defenses," said Huggins. "They are going to play straight up man, a man that switches everything, a 2-3 zone, a box and one, a triangle and two, a 1-2-2 (press), a 2-2-1 (press).

"When they find something that works, they kind of stick with it."

With both teams on the verge of not making the postseason (Tech is 9-9, WVU is 9-11), tomorrow's game in Lubbock is crucial. In fact, Huggins took it a step further, saying his Mountaineers need to rattle off several wins in a row.

"I think we're at the position where we got to win more than those," said Huggins when asked if four of the next five would be good. "It would be a great start, but we're in a position where we got to win a lot more than that."

The possibility of an NCAA Tournament invitation is not one that Huggins has entirely given up on.

"We can still make a run," he said. "We can still make a run to where we could conceivably get ourselves on the bubble anyway, or better."

Would the NIT be a decent consolation prize?

"In all honesty, I don't think anyone wants to talk about that, yet," replied Huggins.

All of that optimism may seem like a lot to fans, but Huggins says the feeling is different in the locker room.

"They follow me blindly, haven't you noticed that, yet," Huggins joked. "I think everybody wants to believe they got some hope. I don't think that's a hard sell."

****************

The topic of injuries was also brought up and Bob Huggins says it's possible West Virginia could be without two of their better shooters. He described Terry Henderson as "not 100%" and said that Matt Humphrey did not practice yesterday and he "doubt"ed the transfer senior would play tomorrow.

Already have an account? Sign In