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December 27, 2013

Huggins: Mountaineers need practice

It's the holiday season, but West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins wasn't in the most festive mood Friday afternoon on his teleconference about several issues surrounding the Mountaineers basketball program.

Huggins was roughly around 15-20 minutes late for the session as his practice ran over, simply saying that the Mountaineers "need a lot of practice."

The head coach gave his players several days off around Christmas, something he said he didn't remember ever doing in the past, and while many of them came back and performed well he still wasn't happy with his team as a whole in practice.

"There are some guys that didn't do anything. You'll be able to tell that by their minutes Sunday," he said.

West Virginia closes the non-conference portion of their schedule Sunday against William & Mary inside the Charleston Civic Center and while the conference portion of the schedule is often referred to as when the season really begins, Huggins doesn't believe in that theory.

The head coach pointed out many of the "little things," has cost the Mountaineers in their 7-5 start including not playing defense or guarding the opposing team along with the inability to rebound the basketball. Due to the young on the team, the players also will need to break some of the bad habits that come with being new to college basketball.

"Obviously we haven't made the plays we needed to make to win games," he said.

The Mountaineers will need to learn from past mistakes and continue to build on the areas that they haven't done well in this season, Huggins said.

"If you don't learn from that then you're probably not going to learn and in all honesty if we don't learn from that we probably have the wrong guys," he added.

When asked about the game in Charleston, Huggins simply said that he doesn't like playing in Morgantown when there is nobody at the games and historically the crowds have turned out for the Mountaineers when they play at the Civic Center.


Brandon Watkins is a player that Huggins said has got to play moving forward and has earned that right. Although he was further behind at the beginning, he has made more progress than anyone on the team.

Still no update on the status of junior college forward Jonathan Holton as Huggins said that the NCAA is closed during the holidays.

"Why don't you guys just call? That hasn't been a problem in the past. Why don't you guys just call and find out?" he said.

Tipoff for the William & Mary contest is set for 3 p.m.

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