UnitedHealthcare Health insurance that includes all Western PA hospitals
Sunday May 26 2019
Leave this field empty.

Up Close with Bob Huggins

PSR Logo
Bob Huggins is heading into his ninth season as the head coach at West Virginia and his 30th season as a Division I head coach.

In 2001, Huggins became the 20th Division I coach (minimum 10 years coaching in Division I) to reach 700 victories when the Mountaineers defeated Missouri State, and he has 765 collegiate wins including his four seasons at Walsh College. He ranks third in total victories among active Division I head coaches. Huggins took a few minutes last month to chat with the media about the recent rule changes in college basketball.

Q: What are your thoughts on the change from the 35-second shot clock to a 30-second shot clock?
A: I thought we had a great game, so I don't know why we're doing what we're doing. You watch the NBA playoffs and it comes down to throwing the ball to the best player in the world and let him play.

You think about the guys that we consider the great coaches of all time and they ran great offenses. They really controlled the game with their offense. I think the more and more you reduce the shot clock, the more and more and the best players are always going to win. You can't run a lot of offense, you're going to come down and run a quick hitter into a ball screen or spread everybody and drive them.

I think everybody is tired of watching 40 free throws a game, but that's where going to end up at. It's going to end up like that. That's just the nature of what it is when you have to spread people and not run offense. You have to spread people and drive it at the basket. That's how you get fouled. I’m probably one of the guys that's not a big proponent of it.

Q: If you press like you did last season, a lot of people think that reduced shot clock would help you guys because it really reduces the time you can run offense. People also think more teams will play zone because it's tougher to run offense against a zone. Any thoughts on that?
A: If we press the way we pressed a year ago, we pressed to kind of speed people up. We needed to speed the game up and we needed to be able to score with numbers because we weren't a very good half court team. So I don't think it helps. If we do what we did a year ago, I don't think it helps us at all because we wanted to speed it up since we couldn't score in half court.

I'm puzzled with the infatuation with the NBA. We continue to go in that direction and I think we have a better game. I think we have a game that is a lot more pleasing to the eyes, so I don't understand why we continue to go in that direction. I thought our game was pretty good. There's something to be said for people who do a great job of guarding and playing the half court.

You go back to what we considered to be the great coaches of all time and they controlled the game with their offense. They played great defense or whatever, but the truth of the matter is they controlled the game with their offense. They were great coaches because they probably didn't have as good of players as other people did and they still won because they were able to control the game. And I think the lower the shot clock, the more rule changes we make in that regard, the best players are always going to win.

If you think that's what basketball is, then it's great for the game. If you don't think that's what basketball really ought to be about, then it's not good for the game. Lowering the shot clock and short possessions, the best players are always going to win. Now maybe not THE best player, but a collection of best players, without question, are always going to win.

Share
PSR VIDEO
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Penguins TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Penguins TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3Penguins TV Channel
Josh Bell had not hit a walk-off home run since he was a member of the Altoona Curve in 2015. He changed that Friday with a soaring shot for the left field loonies.
Custom 1North Shore Notes
Francisco Cervelli is as passionate about the current state of Venezuela as anybody you'll find. Last month, the Pirates' catcher spoke passionately about the movement, his country's state of affairs and the future of Venezuela.
Custom 2North Shore NotesPress Room
Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard led the way for the Red Wings, who landed Pittsburgh its fourth straight regulation loss.
Blue LineCustom 3Press Room
Monday night was more than a game. For Jameson Taillon, it was another heave in an ongoing push to liberation from a disease that can break down the toughest of men.
Custom 4North Shore NotesPress Room