Back in early March on “The Bob Huggins Show”, former West Virginia Mountaineer forward John Flowers asked Bob Huggins to be the coach of Best Virginia in the upcoming “The Basketball Tournament.”
It appeared that Flowers was joking when he asked, but announcer Tony Caridi made some great points, saying, “It would be a national story, you could coach your old guys one last time…” Huggins pointed at his wife who said, “I don’t care”, then Huggins said, “I would love to. I’d love to. I’d want to do it for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I’d like to win you guys $2 million dollars.” Huggins, of course, is referring to the $2 million dollar reward given to the winning team in the winner-takes-all tournament.
The Basketball Tournament, which revealed earlier today that it will play from July 4th through July 14th in Columbus Ohio, features several outstanding teams from around the world. Best Virginia’s roster is stacked with former Mountaineers, including Kevin Jones, Da’Sean Butler, John Flowers, Nathan Adrian, Jonathan Holton, Daxter Miles, Jr., Jaysean Paige, Tarik Phillip, Juwan Staten and Logan Routt.
If Huggins does in fact follow through on his verbal commitment to coach the team, he would not be the first college coach to coach in the TBT. Last year, Coppin State’s Juan Dixon was the first coach to coach in The Tournament.
Best Virginia competed in The Basketball Tournament for the first time last season and was coached by former Mountaineer point guard Jarrod West. Best Virginia won in the opening round before being narrowly beaten (80-68) by four-time champion “Overseas Elite”, who had won 27 consecutive games at the time.
Best Virginia has an incredibly talented, experienced group and could certainly compete or beat any team in the tournament, particularly with Bob Huggins as the coach. The players currently on the roster are Bob Huggins’ guys and they are not only experienced playing together, they know what Huggins demands and they have an unwavering trust in him as a coach.
While Huggins verbally agreed, there has been no official confirmation that he is in fact the coach of the team. The shroud of secrecy surrounding his formal decision could be due to a variety of factors, but hopefully official word comes out soon.
Huggins coaching his former players one more time and giving them a real chance to win the prize money would be a truly magical moment for the legendary head coach. Huggins has two choices: Stay home watching Naked and Afraid re-runs or go help his former players win $2 million. The decision seems easy.