Huggins says team will win games this year

What will be different from year one in the Big 12 Conference to year two in the Big 12 conference for the West Virginia University men’s basketball team?

To Coach Bob Huggins, the answer is simple: “We’re going to win,” he said emphatically in a recent interview with The Inter-Mountain.

Huggins, who was in Randolph County Saturday to celebrate Coalton Days, said the 2012-2013 season was “very” disappointing. After at least five consecutive winning seasons, the Mountaineers had more losses than wins during the 2012-2013 season, finishing out with a record of 13-19.

“There were just a lot of things we didn’t know were coming,” Huggins said. “Travel was tough, but I think we’re making some in-roads into fixing that. The style of play changed, the officiating changed, it was just a lot of things we didn’t expect.”

Huggins said the new recruits joining the team for the 2013-2014 season will have a huge impact.

“They give us size, they give us athleticism, and I think they give us some more skill,” Huggins said. “I think we were very poor at rebounding a year ago, and I think these guys will go a long way toward fixing that problem.”

When asked how he thinks sophomore guards Eron Harris and Terry Henderson will fare in their second year, Huggins said he’s optimistic.

“They’ll be much so much stronger, and they’ll know what’s coming,” he said. “They’re both hard workers, they both spend a lot of time in the gym.”

So, what do the Mountaineers need to do better in the upcoming seasons?

Huggins says almost everything.

“We need to rebound the ball better, shoot the ball better. We passed the ball very poorly, so we need to pass the ball a lot better.

“I think it was subpar defensive team, and I think we’re going to get a whole lot better at the defensive end,” he added.

Huggins isn’t concerned about the fact that center Aaric Murray is the lone senior on the roster. He’s not as concerned with what class players are in as with what skill level they bring to the game.

“I think the guys who can play can play,” he said, “and the guys who can’t play can’t play.”

The popular coach said Saturday made the fifth year he’s attended Coalton Days to socialize with his friend, Mike Ross, and fellow West Virginians.

“I love Mike Ross,” he said, “and I love being around the people of West Virginia. I love going to functions where you get to interact with the people, and the people here are great people.”