Online Now 66

Rule Changes Irk Huggins

On Tuesday afternoon, West Virginia was whistled for 28 fouls (tied for the most since the 2010-2011 season), sent Virginia Tech to the line 38 times (most for a WVU opponent since the 2010-2011 season), had two players foul out and three others with four fouls.

Huggins says the new rules have "drastically" changed the game of college basketball.

While some of that can be contributed to youth - two true freshmen started and four first-year guys played - it undoubtedly had more to do with the new rule changes in college basketball this year.

Have the new rules changed the game that much?

"Drastically," said West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins when he was asked that question earlier today. "It's changed the game. In the Seton Hall-Niagara game, I think, they shot over 100 free throw shots. That's changed the game, I'd say."

Much of the focus from fans and media pundits has been on the elimination of hand-checking out on the perimeter, but Huggins says the problem lies with another rule change.

"Not the touching the ball (handler); that's fixable, to a degree. It's the secondary defender," said Huggins. "We got to find a way to have the secondary defender stop penetration without being called for a foul. We're working on that."

That came to a head late in the loss on Tuesday. With 33 seconds left and the Hokies up 80-79, Virginia Tech wing Adam Smith drove past his man. West Virginia's Gary Browne stepped into his path, stood his ground and was run over by Smith.

Last year, that would be a charge and WVU is heading the other way to attempt to take the lead. Instead, Browne was called for a block, the bucket counted and Smith went to the line for an "and-one." The Hokies were now up two possessions and the game was essentially sealed.

"They’re calling more charges now in the NBA than they’re calling in college basketball," Huggins quipped today with the media.

Upon replay, even under the new rules, the Browne play still could have been called a charge. However, Huggins says all these changes are causing issues with the officials, too.

"Honestly, I think (the refs) are probably as confused as we are," he said. "It's different. It's so dramatically different."

EerSports' Ryan Vanburen contributed to this article.

Already have an account? Sign In