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Huggins Technical Lost in Translation

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MORGANTOWN -

There are many times that Bob Huggins directs his fury at players on the court for any number of mistakes and to an outside observer, it can look quite terrifying.

You might wonder how you would react if the wrath were shot at you rather than one of the Mountaineers and on Monday, we found out that Sean Corbin reacts by calling a technical foul.

Only Huggins hadn't yelled at Corbin – not yet at least.

"I have had in my career, obviously, a bunch of technical, and I have never had one for yelling at a player for not making a rotation," Huggins said after the 72-66 loss to Pittsburgh. "I was yelling at him and this guy Ts me from across the court, and I am yelling at Truck. He couldn't have even thought I was yelling at him. He was not even in my field of vision."

Some believed that Corbin mistook the word "truck," as in Truck Bryant, for one that rhymes and features one less letter. 

That couldn't have been the only part of his rant to get lost in translation, though, as these ears clearly made out a reference to a player having done something wrong for four years. Bryant and Kevin Jones are the only two who are even eligible for that distinction, and the senior guard acknowledged his part in the confusion.

"Turk's [Deniz Kilicli] man drove by Turk, K.J. stepped over, I was supposed to rotate and drop down, so Huggs was telling me, ‘That's your rotation, Truck! That's your rotation!'" says Bryant. "I guess the ref thought he was talking to him, but he was talking to me the whole time."

Bryant immediately threw his arms in the air and began to protest the call, begging the official to understand that he missed an assignment and had been called out for it.

"I was trying to tell [Corbin], I'm the talking captain on the team and I'm allowed to talk to the refs, so I tried to tell him, but he said he wasn't trying to hear it," says Bryant. "He said that Coach was on the court yelling, so that's what led to the technical."

Huggins called for a timeout, his team trailing 39-31, and tried his hardest to get Corbin – or any of the officials – to understand that he was only giving a stern teaching point to his senior.

While his explanation fell on deaf ears, associate head coach Larry Harrison led the start of the team's timeout.

Another official on the court, Pat Driscoll, said that the call could have been overturned if it was determined that Huggins had said what he claimed to have said, but in this case it was his word against Corbin as neither Driscoll nor Ed Corbett heard what was said.

Referee will trump head coach in that situation.

"I can't talk to my kids?" Huggins asked Corbin multiple times during an offensive possession when the official was near the WVU bench.

There are times when a technical foul is a boost of energy for the team whose coach draws it, used to fire up what had become a lazy outfit. This was not the case against the Panthers.

The Mountaineers trailed by 10 points following the subsequent free throws.

"That just changed around the game, gave them more easy points. They were making free throws," says freshman guard Jabarie Hinds.

Fans went out of their minds at the technical foul and it seemed like there could have been something to feed off of with the life the crowd was given in those moments, but the Mountaineers could never pull close enough without then letting the Panthers pad their lead yet again.

There will be no conversations within the locker room that a technical foul with nearly 18 minutes left in the game decided its outcome, but just two days removed from a missed goaltending call, any sort of issue with an official was unwelcome.

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