No Time to Celebrate Win Over Kansas State - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

No Time to Celebrate Win Over Kansas State


West Virginia University played its first game in the state of Kansas Thursday night. It was a very meaningful game for both head coaches. WVU's Bob Huggins spent one season as Kansas State's head coach. Kansas State's Frank Martin assisted under Huggins and took over when Huggins left for West Virginia.

This was also a game between two teams that will meet again in the future as conference opponents. West Virginia may join the Big 12 as early as 2012.

There was an electric atmosphere inside Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita. More than 15,000 fans packed the building and it was loud for most of the night.

Prior to the game, Huggins joined Martin on the court to present him with a commemorative ball celebrating his 100th career victory. The two men smiled, embraced and then it was on.

"Everybody wants to know what it's like getting to coach against Frank," Huggins said. "It's not any different because you are trying to win. Obviously Frank knows me pretty well and I know him pretty well, so we probably have a little better idea of what one another is going to do. But, you are just trying to win."

The game fell right in line with a Hollywood script. There were 19 ties and seven lead changes in the game. Neither team led by more than seven points. 40 minutes was not enough time to decide it and neither was an extra five. It took double overtime before West Virginia finally won the game 85-80.

"I feel bad for Frank, but at the same time I feel really happy for our guys," Huggins said. "That's the hardest we've competed. That's the hardest we've played. We've got to continue to maintain that."

Huggins never makes a big deal to the team about games involving his return to a previous coaching stop. He does not change anything about how the team prepares each time it faces Cincinnati and he did not make any points about returning to Kansas for this game. But the players are well aware of his past and wanted to win the game for him.

"That's the guy who was under him and he is a great coach," Senior Guard Truck Bryant said. "Frank Martin is a great coach and a good guy. It was good to come here and get a win for Huggs."

"It's always important when you go to Cincinnati and when you play here," Junior Forward Deniz Kilicli said. "It's always important for him. That was great for us. He's going to be smiling for two days, I don't know about the third one, but he's going to be smiling for two days."

In all likelihood, Huggins was not smiling for very long. About 43 hours after shaking hands with Kansas State, WVU will be back on the floor hosting Miami at the Coliseum.

Truck Bryant played all 50 minutes of the game and Kevin Jones was on the floor for 49 minutes.

"We'll be fine. I gave KJ a minutes rest," Huggins joked.

The extra minutes on the floor coupled with the travel back to West Virginia is not a concern for the Mountaineers. They have one day to prepare for Miami and they do not intend to let it affect them.

"I'm not tired," Kilicli said. "I played like 25 (minutes) thanks to the referees. I didn't play that much. I'm good. I'll just go back to sleep and I'll be fine tomorrow."

"We practice for three hours every day, so I ain't going to say we are not going to be fine," Bryant said. "We should be fine and we'll be ready to play."

"As I tell them all the time, everybody wants to play in the NBA, but they have no idea what that is," Huggins stated. "What that is, is doing this a hundred times. It's not doing it 30 times like we do, it's doing it a hundred times. They do it, so I don't know why we couldn't do it."

West Virginia will host Miami Saturday night. Tipoff is set for seven o'clock.

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