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WVU basketball looking to put disappointing year behind them

Ben Adducchio
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia University men’s basketball team is entering a new season with a variety of fresh faces. They're also looking to find a way to put a disappointing campaign behind them.

Last season, WVU’s head coach Bob Huggins had the worst year of his career. His team won only 13 games, and lost 19. This season, Huggins says there’s a new demeanor on the team.

"We had a lot of brother in lawing going on last year. Don’t beat me and I won’t beat you. Let me shoot and I will let you shoot. It’s not like that now," said Huggins.

When describing what went wrong last year, Huggins says there were several issues. This includes increased travel schedules, a new league which presented new challenges in play, and finally, a lack of strong chemistry on the team that struggled to play good basketball. He says this team is coming in craving to be better. One word comes to mind when describing them so far.

"Their enthusiasm, is the best way to put it. I think what we’ve had and what we’ve lacked is a few guys that took to heart, don’t waste days. They understood the importance of coming in everyday and getting better. I think we lacked that a little bit," Huggins said.

WVU has six new players this season, along with five players from last year, who have returned. But two of the new players are facing eligibility issues. One is unlikely to play this year, due to injuries, while the other is facing some eligibility problems. That leaves the team with nine scholarship players at the moment, as practice begins. Huggins says with so much to learn about his new team, there are still a lot of questions left unanswered. But he’s hoping for good things.

"We went into a different league in terms of style of play, in terms of officiating, in terms of travel and we weren’t very prepared for it quite frankly," said Huggins.

"The one thing we’ve made a conscious effort of is to recruit guys who can make shots. Whether they do or not, they are quite capable of making shots."

The team’s first game will be an exhibition match against Fairmont State University, on November 4. The regular season begins against Mount Saint Mary’s on November 8.

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