Huggins Hopes Mountaineers Play First Full 40 Minutes of Season On Sunday

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - After being disappointed with the Mountaineers' first two performances, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins discussed the progress of his team and also discussed the challenges that New Hampshire will pose on Sunday afternoon.

West Virginia's first two contests of the season earned scathing reviews from head coach Bob Huggins, who stated that out of four halves of basketball, his team had played just one so far. So what has the head coached learned about his team after 28 and a 41 point wins against over-matched competition?

"We're very charitable," Huggins said. "We'll throw (the ball) to anybody. If you just ask, we'll throw it to you. We turn the ball over way too much and to this point we haven't put two halves together. I think we're capable but our attention to detail has to get so much better."

Part of the turnover issue and sloppy passing can be attributed to the absence of Daxter Miles, who missed the first two games of the season due to an illness. It's worth noting that Miles was absent from the court with the rest of the team during Friday's media session. Huggins hinted that the senior still may not be ready to go on Sunday and also said the loss of Miles hurts on the defensive end, taking some of the edge away from the Mountaineers' full court press.

"The truth is that we are missing some of the guys that we have that gave us a lot of intensity," Huggins said in reference to his pressure defense. "One of those guys is Dax. When he gets well and we get the whole group back it will hep considerably."

And much to the chagrin of Huggins, there has been a player who has fallen ill in three of the past four seasons, something that he noted had never occurred until Terry Henderson missed considerable time in the 2013-2014 season.

"I think I had one guy in all of the other years prior to Terry Henderson, who I think was the first one," Huggins said. "Now it seems like every year somebody gets sick. It's kind of a scary thing. I think it really hurt Brandon (Watkins), it obviously hurt Terry Henderson. I talked to doc about it because it seems like we're having more than what you should have."

But Huggins primary focus remains to be getting the Mountaineers ready for Sunday's match-up with New Hampshire, a team who surprised many when it went on the road and won against Temple earlier in the year. Huggins noted that the Wildcats like to space the opponent out, run good offensive sets and have the ability to score some points.

"(New Hampshire) scored 40 points in the second half last night," Huggins said. "They're plenty capable of scoring. They're going to try to make the game go at their pace and we're going to try to make it go at our pace and we can generally can do that."

Sunday's match-up with New Hampshire will mark the last game that the Mountaineers play before traveling to the Barclays Center for the preseason NIT tip-off tournament. Huggins is hoping that his team can play its first complete game of the season before facing their biggest test of the season next Thursday against Illinois.


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