West Virginia head coach has never lacked an opinion. He’s never been afraid of sharing it, either.
And on Tuesday, he did just that on the Big 12 coach’s teleconference, spewing about his discontent with the new rule changes and how he expects them to impact the college game next season (transcription via Ryan Aber of NewsOK.com):
“I thought we had a great game,” Huggins said. “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 letting him play. You think about the guys we consider the great coaches of all time and they ran great offense. They really controlled the game with their offense and I think the more and more we reduce the shot clock, the more and more the best players are always going to win. 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 it. I think everybody’s tired of watching 40 free throws a game but it’s going to end up that. That’s just the nature of what it is when you have to spread people and not run offense.”
“I’m puzzled with the infatuation with the NBA. We keep going in that direction (but) I think we have a game that’s a lot more pleasing to the eyes. So I don’t understand why we continue to go that direction. There’s something to be said for people who do a great job of guarding and playing in the half-court.”
A couple of thoughts on this:
– Huggy Bear’s teams have always been tough, they’ve always been physical and they’ve never been scared of a dogfight, regardless of how ugly the game gets. This West Virginia team is as tough and physical as any that he has ever coached given how much they press and try to force turnovers. The freedom of movement rules are targeted at one of the strengths of his teams. It’s not surprising he’s unhappy about them.
– The shot clock change is going to have a minimal effect on the game. 30 seconds is plenty of time to be able to run offense.
– No one in their right mind is going to say the college game is more aesthetic than the NBA game. The players are so much better it’s almost laughable. The NCAA tournament is the most exciting event in sports and the crowds and atmospheres at college games are better than their NBA counterparts, but the gameplay itself is better in the pros.