Bob Huggins Has Finally Found His Team

Cover Photo: WVU Athletics

Morgantown, West Virginia – It’s unclear whether the 2022-2023 West Virginia Mountaineers men’s basketball team will be competitive in the Big 12 Conference or if it’s an NCAA Tournament team, but what’s certain is that this is a Bob Huggins’ team.  

This team is tough, gritty and selfless, all hallmarks of teams that Huggins has been successful with in his past. Although this is the type of team that Huggins loves to coach, he’s struggled in recent years to find the right mix of talent and grit. This year’s team seemingly has just the right ingredients to make a real run.

Although West Virginia lost a ton of talent from last season – Jalen Bridges, Isaiah Cottrell and Sean McNeil to the transfer portal as well as seniors Taz Sherman, Malik Curry, Dimon Carrigan, Pauly Paulicap and Gabe Osabuohien – the Mountaineers picked up several key veterans from the transfer portal, including Iowa transfer Joe Toussaint, South Carolina transfer Erik Stevenson, Texas transfer Tre Mitchell and Washington transfer Emmitt Matthews, Jr., as well as JUCO additions Mohamed Wague and Jimmy Bell Jr.

Although these players might not be as highly regarded by recruiting experts as the players the Mountaineers lost, this team is built to win the Bob Huggins’ way – by out-hustling, out-rebounding and playing tough, hard-nosed defense every minute of the game.

Bob Huggins said he would “fix it” and although he took an unorthodox, unusual path to do it, it’s clear that the Mountaineers have fixed the issues that they struggled with last season. It’s very early in the season, but beating your most hated rival on the road in convincing fashion is the perfect way to begin a very special, perhaps magical, run to the NCAA Tournament and perhaps even more.

As Bob Huggins said last night, “We’ve won some games here, but we haven’t won the big one yet. We want that. We just need to keep working hard every day.”