Morgantown, West Virginia – When asked whether senior forward Gabe Osabuohien would play for the West Virginia Mountaineers in tonight’s game against the #6 ranked Kansas Jayhawks, Bob Huggins was noncommittal.
Huggins had the following to say about Osabuohien: “Watching practice yesterday, he had better play a whole lot better. He better play a whole lot better than how he played yesterday.”
Huggins continued: “Everyone wants Gabe to play. The coaches want him to play. The players want him to play, but Gabe is his own worst enemy. I would think rather than going and fighting the biggest, strongest kid on the block, you ought to be able to go take care of yourself. But he hasn’t figured that out yet. I think he will and he has one more day of practice to figure it out. If he doesn’t do that, he’s going to sit on the bench.”
#1 – Why exactly is Gabe Osabuohien in Huggins’ doghouse? For being frustrated with losing? For caring? For arguing with referees? If arguing with referees is something he doesn’t want his players to do, perhaps he should lead by example. Huggins spends a majority of his time on the sideline yelling and screaming at referees.
#2 – Gabe Osabuohien is the team’s senior leader. Not only that, he’s the only player on the floor a lot of times that looks like he actually cares about winning games. He’s a passionate, fiery player who wants to win!
#3 – The technical fouls that he has received this season did not negatively impact the team in any way. The games were already decided and Osabuohien was expressing his frustration. So what!?
While Huggins is no doubt attempting to teach his player a lesson, is this really the time or place to do it? Gabe Osabuohien is the team’s most important player. He’s the glue to a team that is in pieces. Rather than pushing him away and isolating him, perhaps Huggins should have found a way to channel that frustration and use it for good.