A player can’t get away with being lazy or making mental mistakes when they’re on the floor for a Bob Huggins’ team and they’re representing the state of West Virginia. It’s comical at times to see how quickly a player on the bench will jump up and go to the scorers table to enter the game when someone on the court makes a mistake or doesn’t give their best effort.
Sophomore point guard Jordan McCabe has been on the wrong end of this more times than he would like to think about. In the final 10 games of the 2018-2019 season, McCabe was sensational, averaging 13.5 points and over 5 assists per game. His dazzling passes, elite ball-handling and outstanding shooting were impressive, but it was his leadership that really stood out.
McCabe came into this season as the unquestioned leader on the floor, but instead of continuing what he started at the end of last year, he has regressed greatly. Through the first seven games, McCabe is only averaging 3.7 points and 2.6 assists while shooting 27.3% from the field.
Huggins has been critical of his Sophomore point guard early in the season, saying, “McCabe was brought here to pass.” The message was sent. If you don’t do what Bob Huggins wants, you won’t play. It’s Bob Huggins’ way or the highway (or, perhaps more appropriately, the bench) this season. The West Virginia bench is deep and if a starter isn’t getting it done, there are plenty of players available that will.
Derek Culver, one of the top returning players in the Big 12 Conference, has been benched for a large portion of two games this season. Interior players better rebound and play defense, or they won’t play. If a guard is making turnovers and not moving the ball, Huggins will bench them. It doesn’t matter who the player is because no player is bigger than the team.
West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins has created a tough, challenging, competitive environment for his basketball team. Huggins believes that competition from his players in practices and games will bring the very best out of them.
If a player is not competing in the way that Huggins believes is best for the team, that player will not play. Winning teams have players that put the team before themselves and Huggins is building a successful, winning team.
Bob Huggins wants to win and he wants to win right now. No player is too big and no player is immune from being benched. Huggins has big expectations for his team this season and his tough love will make men out of boys.