Cover Photo by Gus Schlomer, VOM
Morgantown, West Virginia – Following West Virginia’s crushing loss at Oklahoma State – a game that likely ended their realistic hopes of making the NCAA Tournament – Bob Huggins was devastated by the performance of his team.
“We’re running out of chances,” Huggins said. “We have some opportunities remaining, but not many.”
Huggins went on to say that this is not how he wants to end his long and illustrious career as a head coach.
“I told the guys, ‘I’m not going out like this.'”
Huggins went on to tell his players that’s okay with losing several of them if they aren’t going to contribute or work to get better.
“I’m good with playing with seven players. If the rest of you want to go, I can do it with seven,” Huggins told his players in the locker room following the game.
The road to the NCAA Tournament seems increasingly challenging for the Mountaineers and unfortunately, the team loses most of its scoring and rebounding production following this season.
With losses of leading scorers Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil (who said in the offseason he’d come back for “one more year”), as well as seniors Gabe Osabuohien, Pauly Paulicap, Dimon Carrigan, Malik Curry and perhaps Kedrian Johnson, Huggins will have Jalen Bridges, Isaiah Cottrell, James Okonkwo, Jamel King and Seth Wilson returning.
In addition, Huggins has been on record that he doesn’t want to build his roster through the transfer portal, which makes the task of replacing all of the losses he’ll face next to impossible.
With that said, if this season has been challenging and frustrating for Huggins, it’s hard to imagine how he will deal with a decimated roster next year. Huggins clearly doesn’t want to go out like this, but like his team, he’s starting to run out of options.