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June 25, 2013

Huggins looks for individual improvement





It's summertime and West Virginia is gearing up for its second season on the hardwood in the Big 12 Conference this fall. But in the meantime, head coach Bob Huggins addressed a number of issues on the conference summer teleconference Tuesday afternoon.

Huggins believes that the players participating in the Greentree summer league are getting an opportunity to play against different college players with different skillsets, something they wouldn't have gotten otherwise.


Sophomores Eron Harris and Terry Henderson saw valuable minutes last season and they have both stepped up into valuable leadership roles with the team. Harris led the team in scoring at 9.8 points per game, while Henderson wasn't far behind at 8.0 per contest.

"Both of those guys are guys that understood we lacked a little veteran leadership last year and playing the minutes that both of those guys played last year they feel they are willing and capable to lead," he said.

Harris is getting looks at the point guard position and it's not something that should come as a surprise after he was recruited as a combo-guard but due to the number of ones on the roster last season, he was able to primarily play on the wing.

"He's embraced it. It's just another guy on the floor that can score," he said. "It gives you length from a defensive standpoint."

Overall, Huggins believes that after a year of adjusting to the travel and the style of play in the Mountaineers new conference, the team should be better equipped for the challenges than they were a season ago. Adding to the difficulty of the league, 60-percent of the Big 12's head coaches have taken a team to the Final Four; something Huggins considers an impressive feat.

"A few of those guys have won national championships. Tubby (Smith) reminds me of that every time I see him," Huggins said.

The Mountaineers will look to bounce back from a13-19 campaign, including finishing 6-14 in conference play a season ago.

With the addition of the nation's No.1 player Andrew Wiggins, Kansas will look to remain on top of the conference, while Marcus Smart's return for Oklahoma State will also make the Cowboys a formidable challenger. Several other programs such as Iowa State have added key players to their roster, including former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane.

"He's a good player. He has great size on the perimeter and he's very, very good at attacking the rim," he said. "He's probably as good of a guy in our league at attacking the rim with his size and athleticism."

Huggins said he expects all of his 2013 class to be enrolled at some point in the summer.

"A lot of it depends on the junior college guys and what classes will go towards their major," he said.

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