Thursday, September 21, 2023

No. 12 WVU hosts streaking TCU

West Virginia looks for its third-straight win Tuesday night when the Mountaineers host the surprise team of the Big 12. TCU (12-3, 3-0 Big 12) was a consensus pick to finish in the conference basement in the Big 12 preseason pool, but the Horned Frogs are off to a strong starting, including winning their first three conference games (Kansas State, 59-57; Oklahoma State, 52-40; Iowa State, 81-79). TCU is tied with No. 2 Baylor atop the conference standings. WVU (13-2, 2-1) has won a pair of conference games after dropping the Big 12 opener in Kansas. Freshman guard Miles McBride continues his rise as one of the Mountaineers best players after scoring a career-best 22 points in Saturday night's win over Texas Tech. TCU is led by senior Desmond Bane (6-foot-6), who leads the team with 17.1 points a game. Bane also tallies seven rebounds a game and 3.5 points a contest. Sophomore Kevin Samuel (6-11) paces the Horned Frogs on the glass, pulling down 8.9 rebounds a game. Sophomore guard R.J. Nembhard leads TCU with 3.6 assists a game. Bane, Nembhard (13.1) and Samuel (10.8) average double-digit scoring for the Horned Frogs. Bane (35.5 minutes a game) and Nembhard (318 mpg) see heavy floor time for TCU, but the Horned Frogs have depth outside of those two. Nine Horned Frogs average more than 12 minutes of playing time a contest. The TCU game is the second of a stretch where the Mountaineers are playing six of eight at home. The game tips off at 9 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU. WVU is a 7 1/2 point favorite. ESPN's BPI heavily favors the Mountaineers.

The 2021 Mountaineers will be the Most Talented West Virginia Team Ever

The West Virginia Mountaineers, 13-2, are off to a sensational start to the season and could absolutely compete for a Big 12 Conference Championship and perhaps a National Championship this season.  After a miserable 15-21 season last year, it is an incredible time to be a West Virginia fan and this season and team should be appreciated. However, looking ahead, the 2020-2021 West Virginia Mountaineers will almost certainly be the best, most talented team in the program's history.  This of course depends on everything going right and everyone coming back, but the team could potentially be a National Championship favorite next season. Oscar Tshiebwe, the fabulous Freshman Forward, is absolutely athletically gifted enough to declare for the NBA Draft right now, but he is still very raw and would benefit from another season in Morgantown.  Bob Huggins will have the unfortunate story of Sagaba Konate to use as an excellent example of what happens if a player leaves prematurely.  I suspect that Tshiebwe will be back for one more season and then declare for the NBA following a remarkable Sophomore year. Derek Culver, although again very talented, is unlikely to be ready for the NBA after this season.  He's perhaps even more raw than Tshiebwe and leaving West Virginia early would be a tremendously poor decision for him to make.  To truly gain the attention of NBA scouts, Culver must improve his post play, develop his mid-range game and learn to play more under control. The players that the Mountaineers will likely lose next year are Seniors Jermaine Haley, Chase Harler and Logan Routt.  Haley is a big, consistent, talented guard and is a pretty massive loss for the team.  Harler has become a reliable shooter and aggressive defender off the bench and Routt is a big body who adds depth on the interior. With that said, there are players on the team currently who will step up to replace the departing Seniors (Sean McNeil and Taz Sherman will play a bigger role) and several incoming players who will make the team even deeper and probably better. Jalen Bridges, who redshirted this season, has benefited from a year of practicing and working out with the team.  A 4 star in-state recruit out of Fairmont, Bridges has the size and skill to get minutes off the bench and contribute immediately.  I erroneously said that West Virginia "didn't need Bridges" over six months ago, but he's clearly going to be an outstanding player for the Mountaineers. Isaiah Cottrell, a 6'10 four star forward, has been absolutely terrific for the juggernaut Huntington Prep team this year.  Although Duke commit Jaemyn Brakefield gets more attention, Cottrell has been the most consistent player on the team and his length and skill will be invaluable for the Mountaineers as a Freshman next season. Taj Thweatt, a three star 6'7 forward out of New Jersey, and Kedrian Johnson, a 6'4 guard who has been mentioned as one of the best JUCO players in the country this season, will be immediate big-time contributors off the bench as well. This year's team is very, very good, but next season's team will be extremely athletic, very deep and without a doubt the most talented team in West Virginia basketball history.  Imagine Miles McBride, Emmitt Matthews, Jr., Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe with another year of experience!  Depending on how the team finishes this season, expect them to be a Preseason Top 5 team and a favorite to win the National Championship next year.

Incredible 2020 West Virginia Basketball Hype Video

West Virginia University student Josh Messe put together an incredible video for the 2020 WVU Basketball season.  Please check out the video below:

Mountaineers Jump in Latest AP Poll

  The West Virginia Mountaineers, following a win on the road at Oklahoma State and a win at home against the #22 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders, have jumped from #17 to #12  in the latest AP Poll, which was released just moments ago. West Virginia continues play tomorrow night at home against TCU (12-3 overall, 3-0 in Big 12).  The game will air on ESPNU at 9:00PM.

West Virginia Lands St. John’s Transfer

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- The West Virginia Mountaineers' basketball team has been decimated by the transfer portal this offseason following the arrest and resignation of Bob Huggins. However, Jay Kuntz, the Director of Personnel/Recruiting at WVU, is a miracle-worker and continues to attract top talent available in the transfer portal. Moments ago, the Mountaineers landed Quinn Slazinski, a 6'9 forward from Houston, Texas, who played at Huntington Prep in West Virginia during high school, where he averaged 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists on a balanced team that posted a 20-5 record. Slazinski was selected to the All-USA West Virginia Boys Basketball Team second team. After high school, Slazinski played at Louisville for two seasons before transferring to play for Rick Pitino at Iona, where he averaged 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game last season. When Pitino took the job at St. John's Slazinski followed his coach there, but ultimately decided to re-enter the transfer portal yesterday. Slazinski was one of the top names available in the portal and West Virginia is an absolutely perfect fit. The Mountaineers desperately needed an interior player after losing Tre Mitchell, Mohamed Wague and James Okonkwo to the transfer portal this offseason and Slazinski fills that void.

Deep thoughts

West Virginia beat Nicholls, 83-57, in an impressive but not unexpected home victory Saturday afternoon. But more than the lopsided score, it was the method of the Mountaineers victory that should leave WVU fans filled with holiday cheer. The more the 2019-20 WVU basketball team plays, the further the 2018-19 disaster fades in the rear view mirror. Blowing out a Nicholls team that upset Pitt and played the other power teams it faced close reflects well on the Mountaineers outlook as they begin Big 12 play next month. The end-to-end contributions WVU has received from both its starters and its bench is reason for even more optimism. The benefits of having superior depth is multifarious. If it's a cold shooting night for a player or two, reinforcements are available to pick up the scoring slack. If foul trouble shelves someone for much of the game, there is an equally capable replacement ready to step in and duplicate the production. With more players able to more equitably minutes, the entire team is better rested, and fatigue is the problem for the opponent. Five Mountaineers hit double figure scoring Saturday - three starters and two reserves. Miles McBride (15 points) and Sean McNeil (10) were the double digit scorers off the bench. This isn't the first time the Mountaineers have relied on their McBench. McBride (18) and McNeail (11) tallied strong efforts off the pine in leading WVU over Wichita State in the championship game of the Cancun Challenge in November. Chase Harler got the start Saturday, replacing Jermaine Haley, who didn't play. Harler struggled offensively, scoring just three points on 1-of-6 shooting. But he played a solid game defensively, offering solid off-ball help against Nicholls guard Dexter McClanahan. WVU held McClanahan, the Colonels leading scorer, to a season-low seven points. While the Mountaineers are deep, they have a couple players whose contribution can't be replaced. On Saturday, forwards Derek Culver (16 points, 16 rebounds) and Oscar Tschiewbe (15 points, 10 rebounds) led WVU with double-doubles. Culver was particularly dominate, as the sophomore forward has been all month. It the third time in the last four games Culver turned in a double double. West Virginia's schedule is about to get much more difficult. After Christmas, there are no more undermanned foes like Nicholls or Austin Peay. The Mountaineers face Ohio State in Cleveland on Dec. 29. The Buckeyes might be the top ranked team in the nation when the polls come out Monday. Against teams like Ohio State, WVU needs Culver and Tshiewbe to be on their games. The luxury West Virginia has is, outside of those two, the team can absorb a less-than-stellar effort from some because of the wealth of talent of others. The Mountaineers will need their depth when they begin conference play in January. If they carry it over from December, it will be a happy new year.

Huggins Calls Out Refs

Following West Virginia's 60-53 loss at Allen Fieldhouse to the Kansas Jayhawks, West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins was characteristically unhappy with the officiating.  Huggins, frustrated with the lack of favorable calls for his team, called out the performance of the referees. Huggins, in his postgame, said, "I can't control what those three blind mice that are running around out there do or what they call."  Although Kansas was called for more fouls (19-18 advantage for the Jayhawks), the officiating was particularly one-sided in the second half. Huggins added, "You got one guy who thinks it's a foul and another guy that doesn't think it's a foul.  There's no consistency." The Mountaineers moved to 0-8 in program history at Allen Fieldhouse and Huggins' frustrations are shared by West Virginia fans everywhere.  However, it's early in the season and the Mountaineers will have to regroup quickly for their 2nd Big 12 Conference game on Monday at 9-4 Oklahoma State.

#2 Should Be Next

West Virginia Athletics moves as a snail’s pace.  Deciding to retire Rod Thorn's #44 is long overdue.  WVU's inattention to detail and unwillingness to honor the great Mountaineers of the past has always been an issue.  Major Harris, Pat White, countless others who accomplished outstanding feats in Morgantown have gone largely unnoticed for what they have done for the university. Retiring a jersey is the ultimate way to honor a former player and it really doesn’t require all that much effort.  Perhaps only eclipsed by building a statue, which is a far more challenging proposition, retiring a jersey is easy and inexpensive. With that said, no one, I mean no one, exemplifies the Mountaineer spirit better than Jevon Carter.  Carter led the Press Virginia era for all four seasons, teaming up with Daxter Miles Jr. to make the most accomplished backcourt in WVU history. Carter had many accomplishments while at West Virginia, averaging 17.3 points, 6.6 assists and 3.0 steal per game during his Senior season.  He was the all-time steals leader at WVU and was the only player in Power 5 history to finish his career with 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals. Carter, who now plays for the Phoenix Suns in his second year in the NBA, was an Academic All-American, 2nd Team All-American, four-time Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12, was the NABC National Defensive Player of the Year as a Senior, the list goes on and on, but even greater than all of his many achievements was the imprint that he left on the West Virginia basketball program. West Virginians appreciate and value hard work more than anyone else in the world, and Jevon Carter is the personification of working hard and giving maximum effort every moment of every game.  In Carter’s “Treadmill Mentaility”, he said, “I know people talk a lot about my defense, and I’m glad that that part of my game has gotten recognized, but I also want everyone to know that there’s a lot more to me than that.  I’ll always be ready to lay it all on the line from Day One because I’ve been overlooked and criticized on the basketball court my entire life.  By everyone.” Carter is the very embodiment of our great state – overlooked, underappreciated, hard-working – and should be recognized for all that he did for West Virginia University.  Honoring him by retiring #2 is as obvious of a choice as naming the basketball court inside the Coliseum “The Bob Huggins Basketball Court” and should happen immediately.  

3’s company: Osabuohien’s offensive emergence turns WVU front line from duo to trio

Coming into the season, West Virginia expected to rely on its version of the Twin Towers - forwards Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe - to lead the way back to college basketball relevance. The Mountaineers No. 3 is turning those Twin Towers into triplets. WVU coach Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers didn't even know if Arkansas transfer Gabe Osabuohien would be able to play at all this season. As a transfer, NCAA rules mandated Osabuohien redshirt his first season with WVU. But, following last season, Arkansas fired coach Mike Anderson. Because the Razorbacks had a coaching change, Osabuohien and WVU petitioned the NCAA for a waiver on the redshirt requirement. Shortly before the season, it was granted and Osabuohien joined what has turned out to be a very deep Mountaineers roster. Osabuohien started slowly, playing less than 21 minutes in his first seven games. But as he learned Huggins system, he ingrained himself more and more into the rotation. Osabuohien's defensive effort and overall intensity provided a spark every time Huggins put the junior on the floor. As his comfort level grew, so did his contribution as a Dennis Rodman like defender and rebounder. By the time Big 12 play started, Osabuohien was established as the Mountaineers top front-line player off the bench. Now, with conference play more than one-third of the way complete, Osabuohien is even more than that. Through the first 16 games of the season, Osabuohien didn't score more than four points in any game. In his last four, he's scored 10, nine, two and 15. The hustle and effort that paid such dividends on the defensive end is now producing important offensive contributions. Osabuohien's best game was his most recent one, where he had a career-high 15 points and played a team-high 29 minutes in WVU's 89-81 loss at Texas Tech. It didn't result in a victory against Texas Tech, but Osabuohien showing he has the ability to also contribute as a scorer gives Huggins a safeguard if Culver and/or Tshiebwe miss significant minutes to foul trouble. Huggins deserves a ton of credit for both finding Osabuohien and pulling this kind of production from the Toronto native. In his two years at Arkansas, Osabuohien's play didn't indicate this kind of contribution. Osabuohien averaged just 2.4 points and 2.5 rebounds a game for a mediocre Razorback squad. His WVU numbers aren't significantly better - 3.4 points and 4.5 rebounds a game - but those stats belie his more recent play. In his last three Big 12 games, Osabuohien is averaging 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds. Every indicator shows Osabuohien's arrow pointing up each game as he further ingrains himself into the Mountaineers rotation. Culver and Tshiebwe continue anchor WVU's post-centric strategy. But Osabuohien is making the post three's company for the Mountaineers and three's a crowd for their opposition.

West Virginia’s Confidence SHATTERED

Three weeks ago, the West Virginia Mountaineers blew out the Missouri Tigers to go to 16-3.  West Virginia looked dominant in that game, capable of beating anyone anywhere.  Three weeks later, that has all changed. After losing 4 of the last 6 games, the Mountaineers are now 18-7 and only 6-6 in the Big 12.  A team that was a solid 2 seed has now likely dropped to a 4 or 5 seed and is trending downwards. What has happened to this West Virginia team?  The talent, the size and the depth is all there, but their confidence is absolutely shattered.  Bob Huggins, legendary coach, one of the greatest to ever do it, in his attempt to make men out of boys, has broken these players down to the point that playing basketball is no longer fun and they have no idea what they can do to please him. Huggins preaches spending countless hours in the gym, "getting shots up", but making wide open shots in an empty gym doesn't get results, evidenced by Jordan McCabe's performance this season.  Effort is not the problem with this team.  Huggins will grumble and complain in his post games about how the players are "different" now and how they don't practice like they used to, but this incredible decline has far more to do with West Virginia's offensive strategy and the players' complete lack of confidence. Jordan McCabe is beaten down and he's broken.  He's an amazing young man, extremely talented and he wants to win, but he is incapable of making Bob Huggins happy.  Any hint of doing what he did in high school - being creative and making fancy (sometimes bad) passes means an immediate trip to the bench.  Huggins recruited McCabe and knew exactly who he was, but now he wants him to be an entirely different player. When McCabe was given the freedom to make mistakes without immediately getting pulled at the end of last season - because there was no one playing behind him - he shined.  He was just the leader that the Mountaineers need(ed) and the team responded with several surprising wins at the end of a miserable season. Although Huggins recruited two of the best scorers in the JUCO ranks, both Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil have wilted under the heat of Huggins' substitution patterns.  One of the most challenging things for a basketball player to do is come off the bench, ice cold, and be expected to score immediately and consistently.  Sherman and McNeil have not been given the opportunity to showcase their full abilities because if they miss a shot or don't execute Huggins' offense exactly as he wants it, they are sat on the bench for the remainder of the game. While Huggins has been extraordinarily successful during his outstanding career, there is no other coach in the history of basketball that has expressed their frustration and anger towards players more openly than him.  Certain players respond to his tough love and become men, but unfortunately this generation of players is far more likely to be boys, to crumble and cave under his pressure, and that's exactly what we're seeing with the West Virginia Mountaineers right now.

Debaba Tshiebwe is Headed to Morgantown

Oscar Tshiebwe, the fabulous freshman forward for the West Virginia Mountaineers, is destined for greatness.  He has the size, skill, drive and athleticism to be one of the most talented players to ever play for the Mountaineers.  Because of his incredible talent, it’s unlikely that he will stay at WVU for all 4 seasons and will almost certainly leave early for the NBA.  However, there could be another Tshiebwe on his way to Morgantown. Oscar has a younger brother, Debaba, who is making a name for himself as a young rising basketball star.  Debaba, who just wrapped up his 8th grade year, plays for the “Wildcats Select” 15 and Under team and trains with “WV Mpact”, an AAU/Training Program. Debaba Tshiebwe, a 6’6 235 pound 14 year old, has plenty of time to grow but has already developed physically into an incredibly strong young man. Eric Hampford, the Director of Scouting for MADE Hoops, called the younger Tshiebwe “a physically dominant forward with a non-stop motor.”  That sounds very similar to his older brother, Oscar. MADE Hoops@madehoops Most Improved Award 8th Grade: DeBaba Tshiewebe #314 7th Grade: Rashee Bell #280 6th Grade: Chase Garcia #67#MADEAcademy 47 8:07 PM - Jun 17, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy The 2023 recruit continues to steadily show major progress and  won the Most Improved 8th grader at the MADE Academy. According to the WV Mpact, “Debaba is a physical specimen just like his brother was at a young age.  He didn’t have the greatest weekend offensively, but he showed that he is a monster on the glass and will alter shots.  The big man runs the floor well and has a high ceiling with his potential.  He is still raw and working on his game, but as a 2023 recruit, we know that soon he will be a beast and a force to be reckoned with.” With four years to grow and mature, Debaba could potentially grow to be taller and even more polished than Oscar by the time he enters college.  Although there is obviously no guarantee that he will end up at WVU four years from now, I recently communicated with Debaba via text and asked him point blank if he would one day play for the Mountaineers.  His answer: “Yes, God willing.”

Mountaineer Fans Showed Out Today

A key contributor to the West Virginia victory over the 4th-ranked Baylor Bears was the rambunctious, sold-out Coliseum crowd. All across social media, fans were given praise for their efforts today, with some even calling it the “loudest they have ever heard” the Coliseum. In order to upset a top-5 team at home, an energetic crowd is a need. ESPN College Basketball Analyst Fran Franschilla tabbed the Mountaineer crowd on Saturday as “the loudest building” he had been in this basketball season. Considering all of the amazing venues that Franschilla covers over the course of a season, this is quite the accolade for Mountaineer Nation. While the season is now over, the type of enthusiasm by the crowd today must be taken forward into both next basketball and football seasons. West Virginia has the best fans in the nation, and the entire country is starting to take notice.

MOUNTAINEER MADNESS – The ultimate WVU NCAA Tournament run – National Championship Game

Mid-March is annually the Holy days of college basketball. But in 2020, the gyms are silent and the NCAA Tournament will not be played for the first time since its inception in 1939. We will never know what would have been for the 2020 West Virginia Mountaineers in their quest for One Shining Moment. In it's place, let's use the Wayback Machine to look back at the best tournament games for the Mountaineers. We are selecting the best WVU game for each round of the tournament - Round of 64, Round of 32, Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four and National Championship Game. Each day will feature a new top WVU NCAA Tournament game, culminating with the finals. Part 6 of 6: National Championship Game California 71, West Virginia 70; Louisville, Kent. The 1959 NCAA Tournament National Championship Game was a contrast in styles. It matched the high-octane offensive attack of West Virginia coach Fred Schaus' Mountaineers and the methodical, deliberate style of California legendary coach Pete Newell's Bears. In the end, Newell's Bears were able to work just enough time off the clock to upset the Mountaineers and Jerry West and deprive West Virginia its first NCAA Tournament title. The game featured wild swings of momentum. The Mountaineers jumped out early and took a 13-point lead in the first half. California's Reverse Action offense worked the Bears back into the game and the lead. Cal took a 39-33 lead into the half. The Bears extended that lead to 15 in the second half, taking advantage of West's foul trouble. The cause looked hopeless for the Mountaineers. They faced a double-digit deficit, and their star was struggling to stay on the floor. But the 1959 Mountaineers were nothing if not resilient. As it had all season, West Virginia's offensive firepower propelled WVU back into the game. Despite his foul problems - West played the last 15 minutes of the game saddled with four personal fouls - the junior led the way as he had all tournament and all season. With less than a minute left WVU cut the Bears lead to one, 69-68. But Cal's Darrell Imhoff scored on a tip-in with 17 seconds left to extend the lead to 71-68. There was no 3-point shot at the time so West Virginia was down two scores. WVU pushed the tempo and Ronnie Retton - now better known as Olympic Gold Medal winning gymnast Mary Lou Retton's father - fed a perfect pass under the hoop to Willie Akers who put in the easy basket to pull WVU back within one, 71-70. West Virginia put Cal on the free-throw line and West grabbed the rebound off a miss. But with just two seconds left he was unable to get off a shot and the Mountaineers chance at national championship glory fell a single point short. As he had all tournament, West finished with game highs in points (28) and rebounds (11). Akers and Bob Clousson added 10 points each in the loss. Cal's Denny Fitzpatrick led the Bears with 20 points. Despite the defeat, West was named Most Outstanding Player for the tournament. West was amazing in the 1959 tournament, averaging 32.4 points and 14 rebounds in the Mountaineers five tournament games. It would be a bittersweet honor he would replicate in the NBA. West won the 1969 NBA Finals MVP despite his LA Lakers losing to the Boston Celtics in seven games. West is the only player from a losing to team to win NBA Finals MVP honors. West and Newell would join forces to earn Gold Medals on the 1960 USA Olympic Basketball team when the former was a star player and the latter the team's coach. West and Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson co-captained the 1960 team that is generally considered the best amateur basketball team in history.

The Amazing Maturation of Miles McBride

Miles McBride is a seasoned, experienced veteran in the body of a 19 year old young man. Although McBride was just a freshman point guard for the Mountaineers last season, he was also the  most consistent, reliable, steady player for Bob Huggins. And we've just seen the beginning from Deuce.  Miles McBride is a winner.  McBride, who led Archbishop Moeller High School to a state title during his senior season, was considered undersized and underrated as a player coming out of high school.  He also suffered a serious foot injury as a junior and many college coaches backed off his recruitment.  Luckily, Bob Huggins stayed on him.  Huggins actually offered a scholarship to McBride while he was injured, which really helped him to earn trust from the talented guard. Carl Kremer, McBride's high school coach at Moeller saw early promise from Deuce, telling MetroNews that he played McBride on the varsity team as a freshman, which is the first time he had ever done that.  According to Kremer, "Part of it what his ability but the biggest part of it was his maturity. I knew that he could handle it emotionally and I knew he would know how to mix in with the older guys, know his role and know how it works in the system like ours where people wait their turn. He gets what was going on. He is not a real loud leader. He is not the rah-rah guy. Through his actions and through his conversations he leads our team. Everyone in the school respects him as a person." Miles McBride is a Bob Huggins' prototypical player.  He was overlooked and has a chip on his shoulder, he appreciates what Huggins has done for him, and he's willing to work to get better every day.  When asked what he’s most looking for at WVU, McBride replied, “Definitely the Bob Huggins’ practices, for sure.  I heard the treadmill is a great place to be.  Coach Huggins is a Hall of Fame coach, he knows his stuff and I just can’t wait to listen and learn from him.” Miles McBride had a tremendous freshman season, but the sky is truly the limit for Deuce.  McBride, who averaged 9.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, is the most talented returning guard in the Big 12 conference next season.  With Kansas' Devon Dotson declaring for the NBA Draft and likely to leave the Jayhawks, McBride will go from freshman backup point guard last year to the undisputed starter and top guard on one of the best teams in the Big 12 Conference next season.

Bob Huggins, Future Best Virginia Head Coach

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.