Bob Huggins was in a much better mood Monday night.
His West Virginia team played hard in a resounding 82-66 triumph over TCU. It was the Horned Frogs’ largest margin of defeat in the season.
It was a marked contrast from the Mountaineers’ struggles in a loss Saturday against Oklahoma State. West Virginia blew the game after allowed the Cowboys to score 16 points in the final 2:50 of the loss, scoring on 7 of their final 8 possessions.
But those struggles were forgotten Monday night in one of the Mountaineers’ best victories of the season.
Here’s a sampling of Huggins’ post-game comments for the West Virginia Mountaineer Radio Network:
On the difference in his mood from Saturday:
“I feel better about the day. I still don’t feel good about Saturday. I just hope some others things go away. Some of those run-stoppers go away.”
On the change in his coaching strategy on Monday:
“We’ve prided ourselves since I got back here of being microcosm of our state. Hard-working, never-give-up and compete like crazy.
“We seemingly face more obstacles than anybody else and still find ways to succeed. And we weren’t doing that. We would play hard for a little bit and then we would stop playing hard.
“But my message was we were going to play harder or we wouldn’t play. You can go home and do whatever you want to do. But we’re better off with people who want to play hard.”
“Some believed I wouldn’t sit them. Maybe, next time they will believe me. We just have got to play hard. We don’t shoot it great and we pass it below average. So we’ve got to play hard and make things happen with our defense and make it hard on people. We have to make people want the game to be over with because they are tired of us chasing them around. We are what we are.”
On why Sagaba Konate’s playing time was limited:
“He didn’t believe me. He didn’t believe I would take him out if he didn’t play hard. They score a lay-up and he’s trotting down the court. He’s our rim protector. It’s pretty simple. Play harder or don’t play.”
On West Virginia’s strong bench play:
“I told you we’ve got to cut Beetle (Bolden’s) minutes. We cut J.C. (Jevon Carter’s) minutes. He played 33. He’s been playing 40. It’s too many. We’ve got to get those other guys in. ”
On Teddy Allen’s big game, playing 23 minutes after 5 on Saturday:
“I don’t dictate their playing time, they do. If you walk around and let your man rebound and you don’t guard and don’t take anything way and don’t contribute on the offensive end, then you have dictated you’re not going to play a lot. I thought Teddy played really hard, tried to rebound the ball and competed. We’re going to play the guys who compete. Teddy dictated how much he will play, just like he dictated not he wouldn’t play before. It’s not up to me, it’s up to them.”
On West Virginia’s strong defensive effort:
“They are a great passing team and I thought we took things away from them. They didn’t whip the ball around. We were playing in Fort Worth and it looked sometimes like the Pirates were whipping ball around the infield after an out. We can’t let them do that.”
On West Virginia’s remaining schedule:
“We need five wins, don’t we? If we play like that we’re going to have a chance whenever we play. We played it hard. Hopefully we’ll pass it a little and score it around the goal better.”