Bob Huggins brought with him his patented West Virginia stool to Conway, South Carolina and the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
It’s a must-have for the 65-year-old head coach who underwent his second hip replacement surgery during the off-season.
But rather than enjoying the scenery from his now-famous seating arrangement during the Mountaineers’ contest with Monmouth on Thursday night, Huggins paraded the sideline, furious that the Hawks were out-playing his squad at their own game.
Midway through the contest, the Hawks were out-scoring, out-rebounding, and out-toughing one of the best rebounding and toughest teams in the country.
The stool remained empty.
And then when West Virginia and Huggins needed it the most, Jordan McCabe emerged and steadied the Mountaineers’ offense.
With 3:29 remaining in the first half, McCabe netted his first collegiate field goal, drilling a three-point attempt and giving West Virginia its first lead since the 11:38 mark. That lead ballooned to a game-high 22 points late in the second half after a Jermaine Haley layup with McCabe running the show.
More importantly, the true freshman committed only one turnover while his counterparts (Beetle Bolden and Brandon Knapper) were credited with two apiece.
“He’s going to get better, better, and better because he works so hard at it,” Huggins said of McCabe after the Wisconsin native finished with nine points and three rebounds.
We’ve heard this narrative before. Four-year starter and two-time national defensive player of the year, Jevon Carter, built his name on his unrivaled work ethic, honing his craft en route to becoming one the best two-way guards to ever play in Morgantown.
Jordan McCabe would do well to walk in his predecessors footsteps and with his own version of hard work and a string of strong performances, maybe Huggins can utilize his stool a little bit more.