I Don’t Want Bob Huggins to Retire, I Want Him to Change

Morgantown, West Virginia - Bob Huggins is a lot of things. A proud West Virginian. Likely a basketball genius. A man of principle. But Bob Huggins is also famously stubborn. And the world that he lives in, college athletics, is ever-changing. This is the dilemma that Huggins has found himself in. He's been ultra-successful during his long and illustrious career - one of the most successful, accomplished coaches ever - and he doesn't feel adapting and evolving is necessary due to his massive achievements. Recruiting and winning in college basketball is very different than it was when became a household name at Cincinnati. His tough, hard-nose style was acclaimed in the past for shaping troubled young athletes into men. Now, it's nothing more than a detriment to the program he loves so much. Why would a top prospect choose to play for Bob Huggins? Is it because if they screw up in practice, he'll make them run on a treadmill?  Is it so they can play for an entire state that they know nearly nothing about?  Is it because Huggins prioritizes winning and the team success over the individual accomplishments of a player? None of these things are selling points for high school athletes anymore. In fact, they are more of a liability to today's recruits. All the reasons Huggins sold players on to convince them to come play for the Mountaineers are now drawbacks. Bob Huggins is the best West Virginia can do.  Someone recently asked me if I would want Bob Huggins to retire and the obvious answer was 'no.' If he were to leave, it's unlikely West Virginia would have the coach of his caliber anytime soon, and no one would ever care so much about program like he does. I absolutely do not want him to retire. Instead, I want him to show that he's capable of changing. I don't want to hear him grumble about the negative parts of the transfer portal or NIL in college sports. I want to see him embrace it and learn to win big in this changing world. Otherwise, he will sound like a bitter old man who can't adapt, and that's not who Bob Huggins really is. Bob Huggins is a winner. More than anything else, he wants to win. This isn't about his principles or what he feels is right or wrong. This is about winning. 

WATCH: Jevon Carter Gives You a Tour of His NBA Bubble Room

Former West Virginia guard Jevon Carter, who is among the greatest players in Mountaineer history, is currently in the NBA playing for the Phoenix Suns.  Due to the coronavirus, the NBA season is completing its season in a "bubble" in Orlando, Florida.  The bubble makes it safe for players with strict guidelines, including quarantining players and team personnel in hotel rooms at Disney World. Carter, who is averaging 4.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his second season in the NBA, took part in a YouTube series called "Bubble Life", where players reveal their living conditions while in the bubble. Check out Jevon Carter's "Bubble Life" below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGg4PAh0zQU  

Drake Guard Kevin Overton Enters the Transfer Portal

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Moments ago, it was revealed that Drake guard Kevin Overton intends to enter the transfer portal. Overton, a 6'5 guard, started all 35 games for Drake this past season as a freshma, averaging 11.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He shot 44% from the field and 34.6% from 3-point range. Overton, a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, joins teammate Atin Wright in the transfer portal, and both are expected to join their head coach, Darian DeVries, at West Virginia. Overton and Wright, in addition to DeVries' son Tucker, would make an outstanding start to rebuilding the West Virginia basketball program. https://twitter.com/AlyssaHertel/status/1772270970377490483?s=20

Bob Huggins’ Interesting Response to Darian DeVries

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- When Darian DeVries took over the job as the new head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, he said that he reached out to former WVU head coaches Gale Catlett, John Beilein and Bob Huggins to hear their thoughts on what he can do to be succcessful in Morgantown. Bob Huggins, who was interviewed by WDTV 5 Sports at his annual Fish Fry, said he spoke to DeVries, but Huggins' response was...interesting to say the least. "He (Darian Devries) called me and I tried to explain to him that now is a bad time for me," Huggins said. "I mean, I've been in Southern West Virginia. I've been in Northern West Virginia. I've been in Charleston, I've been everywhere. I've been everywhere trying to help the people of the state of West Virginia. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to see what I could do to help the people of the state of West Virginia." FULL CLIP BELOW:  https://twitter.com/WDTVSports/status/1777786434893856860 Huggins, 70, recently wrapped up his annual Fish Fry, where he reportedly raised "over $700,000" for cancer research. Huggins has also spent a great deal of time on the road in the state at speaking engagements. The question may have caught Huggins off guard, but you would expect him to say something along the lines of, "I hope Coach DeVries does well with the team and I will be here to support him in any way I possibly can." However, that clearly did not happen.

Oscar Tshiebwe Returning to West Virginia Tomorrow

Morgantown, West Virginia - Former West Virginia Mountaineers forward Oscar Tshiebwe quit on his team last year in the middle of the season and transferred to Kentucky. Tomorrow, Tshiebwe will return to West Virginia for what’s being dubbed a “meet and greet opportunity” to meet a “future NBA player.” Although the details about this event are sketchy, Tshiebwe will likely sign autographs and take pictures with fans. With that said, does Oscar Tshiebwe have any fans in the state of West Virginia any longer, or do most West Virginians view him as a traitor and quitter? Tshiebwe, an All Big 12 Conference Second Team member two years ago (averaging 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game), started last season out of shape and struggled to regain form, averaging 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds before leaving the team. The event will take place tomorrow, August 7th, at the Shawnee Sports Complex in Dunbar, West Virginia. https://twitter.com/shawneecomplex/status/1423672890017390595?s=21

West Virginia Faces a Very Average Opponent Today

(Photo courtesy of WVU Sports) Sioux Falls, South Dakota - The West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0) advanced to the 2nd round of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic after beating a stingy South Dakota State team in the opening round. The Mountaineers will now play the Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) Rams today at 2:30PM on ESPN.  VCU defeated Utah State 85-69 in their opening round game, outscoring the Aggies 47-28 in the second half. Virginia Commonwealth finished 18-13 overall and 8-10 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, and lost virtually all of their key starters from last season. Nah’Shon Hyland is the only returner from last season’s top six scorers for VCU.  Hyland averaged 9.0 points per game and shot 43.3% from three point range last season. In VCU's opening game against Utah State, Hyland led the Rams, scoring 23 points while shooting 50% from the field and 50% from three point range. Outside of Hyland, the roster was almost entirely overturned with new players.  Junior forward Vince Williams had a strong game last night, scoring 15 points while adding five rebounds and 4 assists. The Rams shot 41.7 percent from three point range and 86.4 percent from the free throw line. West Virginia's size and depth should again be too much for VCU.  VCU doesn't have a player over 6'8 and starts three guards.  If West Virginia can get the ball to the basket - something they did not do in the opening round against South Dakota State - and make perimeter shots, they shouldn't have any problem getting by VCU today. Improvements that I would like to see today from the Mountaineers: Better interior defense.  South Dakota State players were able to get into the lane and to the basket for easy shots too often in the opener.  West Virginia's bigs must be better defensively in the lane. Shoot better.  West Virginia shot 30/77 (39%) from the field and 8/32 (25%) from three point range.  That just won't get it done against quality opponents. Better teamwork.  The Mountaineers only had 11 assists against South Dakota State and relied too much on one-on-one play.  One positive note is that West Virginia only had 3 turnovers in the opener. Play with more energy and enthusiasm.  Most of the team looked like they were going through the motions last night.  As Bob Huggins said in the post game, we really don't know how many games the Mountaineers will get to play this season and players should really value and appreciate each time they step on the court.

WVU holds spot in latest tournament forecast

West Virginia remains a 3 seed in the latest Bracketology projection after the Mountaineers 1-1 start in conference play. ESPN's Joe Lunardi has WVU as a 3 seed in the East Region in his latest Bracketology forecast, the same spot as before WVU started Big 12 play. However, in this projection, Lunardi has the Mountaineers traveling farther from home as he had WVU facing 14 seed Stonybrook in the Greensboro, N.C. pod. Lunardi has Memphis (6) and LSU (11) in the bracket with WVU https://m.espn.com/ncb/bracketology?src=desktop. The Mountaineers dropped a spot in CBS forecast, which was released before WVU's 55-41 win at Oklahoma State Monday night. CBS Jerry Palm has WVU as the No. 2 seed in the East Region. Palm has WVU opening against 15 seed Radford https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/bracketology/.   CBS had WVU as a No. 1 see before the Mountaineers loss at Kansas on Saturday.

Deuce McBride OUT of the Starting Lineup

Morgantown, West Virginia - Moments ago, West Virginia University announced on its official Twitter account that Miles “Deuce” McBride is not in the starting lineup today against Kansas State. Earlier in the week, Bob Huggins said that McBride was “a bit dinged up but fine.”  McBride has been struggling with a minor toe injury.  While McBride will likely play, this is a game that the Mountaineers should be able to win without him and are resting him for a huge game against #2 Baylor on Tuesday. Jordan McCabe will start in place of him.

Wren Baker Thanks Bob Huggins

WVU Athletic Director Wren Baker shares heartfelt message to Bob Huggins on Twitter. Morgantown, WV - Today is a disappointing day for Mountaineer Nation. Following the resignation of longtime men’s basketball coach, Bob Huggins, the program is now scrambling to find his replacement. Despite the unfortunate circumstances of Huggins’ departure, many have reached out to console him - including WVU Athletic Director Wren Baker. https://twitter.com/wrenbaker/status/1670505416571203585?s=46&t=cXIQ4JQG-pp-P6qrRwLwjw Here is what Baker had to say to about Huggins: “Thankful for all @CoachHuggs has done for @WVUhoops and appreciative of our time working together. Forever a Mountaineer.” It is evident that Huggins and the university have ended on good terms. According to reports, WVU will conduct a nationwide search to find a replacement for Huggins. Stay tuned to The Voice of Motown for updates. (Photo by WVU Athletics) 

West Virginia is the Current Favorite to Land Olivier Nkamhoua

Olivier Nkamhoua, a transfer power forward from Tennessee, made an official visit to Morgantown, West Virginia on Saturday and is now set to make other visits before finally deciding where he will continue his collegiate career.   MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- One of the top remaining transfers in the transfer portal, Olivier Nkamhoua, was in town this weekend, visiting with West Virginia coaches and staff. Nkamhoua, a 6'9 power forward from Finland, averaged 10.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game for Tennessee this past season, toured the Mountaineers practice facility and met with Bob Huggins and his coaching staff. The West Virginia coaches took Nkamhoua to The Lakehouse Restaurant, an American-Italian restaurant on Cheat Lake in Morgantown, for lunch. After lunch, Nkahmhoua and Huggins were seen hugging and laughing in the parking lot, which is obviously a very good sign for West Virginia. Huggins was joined by assistant coach Alex Ruoff and Director of Player Personnel/Recruiting Jay Kuntz. In other words, West Virginia put on the full-court press to land Nkamhoua, knowing he very well could be the missing piece that could eventually lead the Mountaineers to a Big 12 and national championship. Nkamhoua is not only a talented, experienced offensive player, he would also instantly be the team's best defender should he decide to join. Nkamhoua is now visiting Kansas State and will visit Michigan next weekend. Michigan has long been considered the favorite land him, but Bob Huggins and his staff have proven to be very successful at gaining commitments from players once they get them on campus. West Virginia has found ways to compensate foreign-born players with NIL deals using methods that other schools have not yet been able to do. The Mountaineers landed Kerr Kriisa, who was born in Estonia, and Jesse Edwards, who was born in The Netherlands, reportedly paying both players more than their previous schools (Arizona and Syracuse, respectively) could pay them and perhaps they can work their same magic with the Finland-born Nkamhoua. According to On3, West Virginia currently has a 38.1% chance of landing him, while Michigan's chances have dropped to 33.3%. https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1662938483873177603?s=20

Morgantown’s Next Hoops Hero

Morgantown, West Virginia - Junior Isaac McKneely, the 6’4 guard from Poca, West Virginia, is skyrocketing up the high school basketball recruit rankings.  McKneely, a four star prospect, is currently the 50th ranked overall player and 9th ranked shooting guard in the 2022 class. In a recent interview with StockRisers, McKneely was asked about the schools currently recruiting him and was specifically asked about West Virginia University.  What was legendary head coach Bob Huggins' pitch to him about why he should stay home and play for the Mountaineers? McKneely was very open and honest, saying, "They’re telling me that nothing is like playing in front of your home state. They think I would be the hero in Morgantown. I’ve been in contact with the coaches for a while now. They think I would look good in the gold and blue.” This, of course, is all very true.  As shown in our cover photo of this article, McKneely looks outstanding in the old gold and blue, and he would instantly become a Coliseum crowd favorite.  In addition, there simply isn't anything better than playing in front of and for your home state, particularly in West Virginia. While Isaac McKneely will go on to have an incredible college career wherever he chooses to go, he will simply not be appreciated more anywhere else than he will be at home at West Virginia.  For an elite home state player to choose the Mountaineers over all of the major programs in the country - he currently has offers from Indiana, Virginia, NC State, Ohio State, Illinois, Louisville, Marshall, Maryland, Purdue, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest and has recently heard from Duke and North Carolina - would make him not just another elite recruit at West Virginia University but an immediate hero, a legend, a player that a whole state would support and cheer on. Make no mistake about it, it’s imperative for Bob Huggins to convince Isaac McKneely to stay home and come play for the West Virginia Mountaineers.  Although Huggins doesn’t value keeping in-state talent in West Virginia like Neal Brown does, this is a player that Huggins just can’t miss on. While other schools will provide him with an outstanding opportunity on the floor and in the classroom, no other school can offer perhaps the most important, valuable piece that Bob Huggins and staff can - staying home and trying to win a national championship for your home state.  Even though every school in the country will be after him and promising him the world, they simply cannot offer more than what West Virginia University can.

The State of the West Virginia Mountaineers Basketball Team

Morgantown, West Virginia - Following West Virginia's loss to Syracuse in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament, there are several uncertainties facing Bob Huggins' team going into the 2021-2022 season. Who will return, who will stay? I believe Taz Sherman is gone.  And I think Gabe Osabuohien is also very unlikely to return.  When students graduate from college, they are ready to move on with their lives and explore new possibilities. Sherman can make money immediately overseas and another year at West Virginia University isn't going to make him an NBA player.  The same goes for Osabuohien.  He's an outstanding glue man in college, but he's way undersized for his position and lacks a real offensive game.  As much as I'd love to have both back next year, I just don't see it. With Sherman and Osabuohien both potentially gone, Huggins will need to secure commitments from transfers who are ready to step in immediately and contribute.  Huggins has been hesitant to seek out transfer players and that is something that will need to change in today's culture. The transfer portal is ripe with outstanding players (see: Fatts Russell from Rhode Island: 14.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists per game last season and Tre Mitchell from UMASS: 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds) and Huggins needs to pounce on them immediately to replace key players on the team. Bob Huggins' future Huggins will be in his final year of his current contract and next season seems like a perfect "farewell season" for the coaching legend.  West Virginia University has already given him a cushy position in the Athletic Department and he seems uninterested in the ugly, shady side of the sport (ie the Oscar Tshiebwe situation). Huggins' aging staff needs new blood and bringing in someone like Joe Mazzulla or Darris Nichols with the understanding that they'll take over when Huggins retires seems like an absolute no-brainer.  Whether Huggins decides to retire after next season or five years from now, a succession plan needs to be in place, and Mazzulla or Nichols would be the perfect eventual replacement for him. The Mountaineers are still loaded with talent Miles McBride, Sean McNeil, Jalen Bridges and Isaiah Cottrell will almost certainly be back next year, and that's an excellent core to build around.  If Sherman, Osabuohien and even Derek Culver decide to move on, the young core of Mountaineers is still very talented and will be one of the most talented teams in the Big 12 Conference next season. If Huggins can pull a few transfers to place around the returning players, he will have a team that can make some major noise.

Huggins Discusses Importance of Winning One More Game This Season

Morgantown, West Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers (17-13, 6-11) host the #11 ranked Kansas State Wildcats (23-7, 11-6) in its regular season finale. Although West Virginia got some breathing room with an impressive upset win at Iowa State on Monday, but the Mountaineers remain firmly on the bubble of making the NCAA Tournaments, according to most college basketball experts. West Virginia is currently #24 in the NET rankings and holds a 12-1 record against Quad 2, 3 and 4 teams this season. Today, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins met with the media and discussed the Mountaineers' upcoming Senior Day and his team's chances of making the NCAA Tournament. "Senior Day is always really emotional for me," Huggins said about his team's finale. "These guys have been great and have worked really hard for us." Huggins has been resolute in believing that the Mountaineers belong in the NCAA Tournament. "We have far and away and it's not even close, the best strength of schedule in the country. And if that doesn't mean something to the committee, shame on them. And I think not just that, I think you look at our scores, we deserve to be in the tournament. They give you all that b.s. about play a strong schedule and then you play a strong schedule. Well, if they continue to tell you to do that then by God they ought to hold up their end of the bargain. I told our guys, I don't think really we have anything to worry about. And I will blast their ass as far and as long as I can if they don't let these guys in the tournament. After years and years of 'play a competitive schedule', the 'best teams are the teams that play the best strength of schedule.'" Today, Huggins said that he wants to win one more games just to be sure that his team doesn't have to worry about whether they will be in or left out of the tournament. "I think we need to win tomorrow to take away all of the doubt." Following tomorrow's game, the Mountaineers will travel to Kansas City next week to compete in the The 2023 Big 12 Conference Men's Basketball Championship.

Jevon Carter vs Miles McBride in the NBA

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Two of West Virginia's all-time greatest players matched up in an NBA game when the Chicago Bulls played the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden last night. Jevon Carter, playing in his first season with his hometown Bulls, is averaging 5.3 points and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 33.6% from three point range. McBride, fresh off a contract extension, is averaging 2.0 points and 0.4 assists in only 5.6 minutes per game. In last night's game, Carter and McBride were actually on the court at the same time and guarded briefly guarded each other. Carter finished the game with 2 points and 2 assists in 16 minutes, and McBride had 3 points in 10 minutes. The Knicks won 116-100 at home to move to 19-15 on the seaosn, while the Bulls fell to 15-21. Check out the highlights of Jevon Carter and Miles "Deuce" McBride matching up as posted by WVU Men's Basektball's social media account: https://twitter.com/WVUhoops/status/1742746206344765533?s=20

Did Wren Baker Have the Guts to Fire Bob Huggins’ Longtime Assistant?

Morgantown, West Virginia - Earlier this evening, West Virginia University announced that they had "parted ways" with longtime Bob Huggins' assistant coach Larry Harrison. According to the press release from the university, "Harrison has spent the last 16 seasons on the Mountaineer basketball staff, including the last 13 as associate head coach. He was in his 24th season overall on Huggins' coaching staff after spending eight seasons with him at Cincinnati." In other words, Harrison was Bob Huggins' guy. They've been through a lot together and it's very unlikely that Huggins would have simply decided to fire someone who has been so loyal to him for so many years. In fact, on The Bob Huggins' Show tonight, Huggins said the following when asked about the firing: "I don't really have a lot to say about it because I wasn't as involved as I've been portrayed to be. How's that?" There were no follow-up questions and Huggins simply left it at that. However, this certainly points to Huggins not fully supporting the decision to "part ways" with Harrison. Rather, this decision most likely came from above Bob Huggins. And who is above Bob Huggins? New director of athletics, Wren Baker. Baker, who has been on the job for less than a month, clearly saw the need for new blood and fresh perspectives on Bob Huggins' coaching staff. Huggins has been loyal to a fault to his assistants for decades and although it was obvious that it was time for a change, Huggins' loyalty to his friends is one of his most defining characteristics. With that said, for Wren Baker to make such a bold, frankly ballsy, decision so early on in his tenure as director of athletics shows a real determination to improve the basketball program. While Shane Lyons let Huggins coast through the past decade or so without making many (any?) changes, it seems that Baker has made it clear that he's calling the shots and that he will be willing to shake things up to better West Virginia athletics. Bob Huggins is an institution at West Virginia University and in the state of West Virginia, and firing a dear friend and longtime assistant of his was no easy task, but it was one that needed to be made. Well done, Mr. Baker.