While basketball season is all but officially over after the conclusion of the NBA Finals, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins addressed the media Tuesday afternoon about the progress of his program during the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference.
Huggins is recovering from recent hip surgery and while the head man is sore his recovery is going well. The Mountaineers were able to sign three junior college prospects late in the process with Tarik Phillip, Jaysean Paige and BillyDee Williams set to join the program this summer and Huggins spoke about what the group can bring to the table.
"I think they're all going to make an impact. Obviously we need some perimeter shooting and we recruited some guys that we think are going to be very capable perimeter shooters," he said. "We tried to increase our athleticism and I think we did that as well."
Speaking Williams, who shares the name of the actor who portrayed Lando Calrissian from the Star Wars series, Huggins said that he wasn't asked about the connection much from his team because many of them are too young to remember the actor.
"Hopefully he's good enough to make people remember him," Huggins said.
Overall Huggins said he believes that his team is much more equipped to score off the bounce this season and get the ball into the lane as well as having guys that will be able to score with their backs to the basket, an area the Mountaineers struggled with last year.
"I think we're going to be able to put more pressure on the defense and at the same time we have to be able to make some perimeter shots," he said.
Senior point guard Juwan Staten is coming off a fantastic season for Huggins and the head man once again reiterated his value to the program and his willingness to continue to strive for improvement in his game. But his real value has come in what Staten has meant to his teammates.
"He's been terrific. He's been as good as virtually anyone I've had in the past in terms of trying to learn what we want done and be able to help his teammates figure out the same kind of thing," he said.
Huggins did say that he hopes to see more consistency out of Devin Williams this season as the freshman impressed at times last year but like all newcomers struggled with doing it on a nightly basis. However, Huggins has been impressed with how often Williams has been in the gym working on his jump shooting and expanding his skill set.
When asked about the Spurs victory and showing the importance of team basketball to college players Huggins said that you would like to think that it would have an impact, but whether it does or not is up for debate.
"The hope is we can try to get back to playing the game the right way," he said.