West Virginia University head basketball coach Bob Huggins held his first press conference Wednesday afternoon. He covered a lot of topics during his time at the table.
There is now doubt he will continue to pressure teams the length of the floor in a variety of ways. However, it may take some time with all the new faces on the team.
Huggins opened up the presser expressing his concerns over the number of injuries on the team.
“We’ve been just so banged up. I’ve never had these many guys banged up. It’s a good thing we have 15 guys.”
“Brandon is (Knapper) fine. Lamont (West), it will just take him a little bit to get back into the grove, but he’s fine. Those two guys are fine. Andrew (Gordon) is seemingly every 10 minutes to rub his knee. Sags tweaked (knee) his a little bit. Beetle has all kinds of stuff. His latest one, stretched some ligaments in his hand. Chase (Harlar) just got hurt. Chase has been nursing a bad back. They just did a bunch of tests on him. He’s going to be out for a little bit.”
Mountaineer fans have been waiting for forward Esa Ahmad to live up to his potential. He’s shown he can be one of the best players in the country at times, but has struggled to find consistency. Going into his junior season, he missed half the season due to a suspension. Now he is going into his senior year and it seems like he is going to make the most of it.
“I think he realizes this is it. He’s done a better job in the weight room. Esa’s been in the gym more than he’s ever been in a gym and consequently, he’s playing better,” explained Huggins.
There’re four freshmen entering the program this season. Forward Derek Culver, guard Jordan McCabe, guard Emmitt Mathews Jr and guard Trey Doomes. Huggs talked about each one throughout the media session.
“Jordan McCabe is unbelievable. He has taken film and digested film as well as anybody that I’ve ever had.”
“Emmitt’s obviously behind because he didn’t get here. It’s not his fault his school last till summer was basically over, where those other guys where in here and playing against the older guys. Emmitt missed that.”
“Trey’s been in and out a little bit. He had strep throat and a sprained ankle. He’s not where those other guys are. He may be as good as an athlete as we have on the perimeter.”
“Derek Culver is learning. He did some nice things the other day, which I think was his best practice, but I don’t if you want to throw it to a freshman right now to win games.”
Once this team is healthy, Huggs said that his frontcourt can compete with anyone in the country.
There’s no doubt that the man that created Press Virginia has his team competing at a high level every single year and despite all the new talent on the floor, Huggins seems to like his 2018-2019 addition of the Mountaineers.