Wednesday, November 30, 2022

WVU seems to be forward to the Phil Knight Legacy  | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

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MORGANTOWN — There can be no Thanksgiving Day dinner for the West Virginia College basketball staff on Thursday.

They’ve work to do.

Whereas its followers can be wolfing down gobblers, the Mountaineers will open play towards Purdue within the Phil Knight Legacy in Portland, Oregon.

Maybe they need to name it the Phil “Evening” Legacy, for this event named for the Nike founder can be a problem to see for Mountaineer followers within the Japanese time zone.

The Purdue recreation is at 10 p.m., and if WVU overcomes the massive impediment in entrance of them within the individual of 7-foot, 4-inch Zach Edey, they’ll in all probability face Gonzaga on Friday at both 9 p.m. or 11:30 p.m.

This can be a big-time event and an enormous problem for the 4-0 Mountaineers who’re in the hunt for defining simply how good they’re, and groups like Gonzaga, Duke, Oregon State, Florida or Xavier will give Huggins and his staff plenty of solutions.

“We’re excited for it. It type of tells the place we’re, what we’ve to enhance on. We’ve just about executed it most years, only a completely different venue,” Huggins stated.

WVU usually performs in a vacation event however normally it’s at a heat climate location like Mexico, the Bahamas, Myrtle Seaside or Charleston, S.C., however this discipline of blue bloods actually will hold the warmth on the Mountaineers.

Three video games in 4 days — taking part in Thursday, Friday and Sunday, deferring to school soccer on Saturday — will present WVU and the nation the place the Mountaineers stand at current, what they should enhance upon and provides them a pattern of what Massive 12 and NCAA Event play is like in March.

“That’s a great distance away,” Huggins stated. “It helps us as a result of we’re taking part in high quality folks. It helps us as a result of we’re taking part in high quality groups. That’s an all-star teaching group on the market. It’s not simply good groups. They’re actually good coaches. Their groups can be ready. I’m certain they’ve checked out plenty of movie, as have we.”

It’s a problem, sure, however Huggins notes one different side of a event like this.

“It’s type of enjoyable,” he stated. “It’s a possibility to see the issues we’re making an attempt to discover slightly bit work towards high quality folks.

“That is school basketball. You have a look at the names there and who’s teaching them and who performed for them over time. It’s a possibility to place your self in a fairly good standing nationally..

“All you possibly can ask for is an opportunity. That’s all anybody can ask for. You profit from it.”

Purdue is at all times a difficult opponent, and with Edey, it turns into a tall problem this yr.

“The factor you are worried about is that they acquired a man 7-2, 7-4, no matter he’s. We haven’t seen that,” Huggins stated, noting that he towers six inches over Jimmy Bell Jr., WVU’s tallest participant. “It’s completely different. He impacts the sport plenty of methods. He impacts the flexibility to attain the ball and he scores over folks. I’ve watched him this yr and it’s straightforward for him to attain over folks.

“He missed a shot the one recreation I noticed and it got here off the rim and he dunked it … and he didn’t bounce!

He’s not simply tall. He’s large, he’s robust. They’ve executed a terrific job with him.”

Huggins believes his staff, which ranks final in rebounding within the Massive 12, has to enhance there whereas on the identical time it has not lived as much as the defensive customary he’d prefer to see by the primary of the yr or sooner.

“We don’t guard the way in which our guys have guarded. (Devin) Ebanks didn’t are available in considering he would guard and that’s what acquired him within the league,” Huggins stated.

Thus far it has been an keen, bodily and unselfish staff. Huggins has normal out holdovers, freshmen and transfers. Final outing, towards Penn, switch guard Erik Stevenson stepped ahead with 21 factors.

“They like one another. They actually get alongside,” Huggins stated. “Emmitt (Matthews Jr.) has been terrific. He’s been our rock in terms of speaking with guys. He is aware of all people. He’s been round a very long time and he and Erik, in fact, grew up collectively.

“They get alongside. We don’t have the problems the place one man is worrying that one other man is getting extra photographs than him. We don’t have one man and one other don’t like one another. That’s actually worthwhile. There’s plenty of groups the place there’s plenty of jealousy. Typically you simply don’t like guys. I’ve had a few groups the place I had guys that didn’t like one another.”

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