Ron Everhart Getting Comfortable On Huggins' Staff - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Ron Everhart Getting Comfortable On Huggins' Staff

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MORGANTOWN -

There are plenty of new faces on the West Virginia University men's basketball team. There is also a new face on the coaching staff.

Former Duquesne Head Coach Ron Everhart is the newest member of Bob Huggins' staff. He replaced Jerrod Calhoun who left to take over as the Head Coach at Fairmont State University.

Everhart and his family have plenty of ties to West Virginia, which only helped in the decision to accept the job.

"It's been great for me coming back," Everhart said with a smile. "Having a chance to work with Coach Huggins is a dream come true for me. My family is maybe more excited than I am. My wife is from Grafton and my kids have only been back here for vacations. For them to have an opportunity to live here, they are thrilled to death."

Everhart will talk basketball with anyone. It typically does not take long for anyone to realize just how much he admires and respects his new boss.

"I couldn't have asked for anything better," Everhart said. "Just to be able to walk out as Coach Huggins' assistant, he is a guy I have admired and respected tremendously for many, many years. He truly is one of those coaches who could take yours and beat his or take his and beat yours, there is no doubt about that."

Everhart's job is to not only help coach up the current players, but help bring the next group of new players to Morgantown. He admits his recruiting job is easier with the new basketball practice facility open for business.

I've been around the game a long time, but when you get around a guy who is that special and can identify what he can within the game and how he can communicate it to you or his players, you don't see that often.

"That is an incredible facility," Everhart said. "It truly is the best of the best in the country right now. When you have NBA teams flying in especially to see your facility, that tells you how special a place it is. I'm excited to get kids to come in here and see it because I don't think there is any way that a prospective student-athlete can say no to being in that environment everyday and having that facility at their disposal"

Typically a new coach would have to wait until October to begin working with his new players. That is not the case this year, thanks to a new NCAA rule granting limited practices during the offseason.

"We're very fortunate this year," Everhart stated. "NCAA rules have changed where we can work our guys out two hours a week for eight weeks during the summer. I've been pleased and excited to have been on the floor this many weeks and have gotten the opportunity to know our players very well. I'm very excited about the returning big guys, really excited about the returning guards and I think our true freshman guards have an opportunity to be good."

The coaches are working hard with the players on playing a more up-tempo style of play this season. Look for the Mountaineers to push the ball up the floor and try to score more transition baskets than they did a year ago. Everhart says all of the players are preparing themselves for that style of play, even Deniz Kilicli.

"Coach (Huggins) is talking a lot about running the ball up a little bit in terms of up-tempo and running a fast break," Everhart stated. "I'm glad the guys are excited about it because you have to buy in to what you are being asked to do. Even Deniz is spending this whole offseason running hard and concentrating on changing ends in every possession. That's the way he has been in our workouts and open gym."

New players on the team did not experience the season-ending loss to Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament. The same can be said for Everhart as a new coach. But, he said it is easy to see the returning players using that loss as motivation heading into the new season.

"For many, many years I have admired Coach Huggins' approach to things that happen like that. He is always talking about how it is never a bad thing when you fail, but how you respond tells you everything you need to know about a man. I don't they are satisfied with the way things went, although they did have a great year. I don't know that they wanted to go out like that. I have seen a chip on their shoulder, a sense of urgency and a sense of togetherness and team chemistry that a lot of teams don't have this early in the year."

That last statement says a lot considering the source. Everhart has been a college assistant or head coach for 27 years. Chemistry and togetherness were not always evident last season. If this team has added those characteristics to its identity, then this could be a very successful inaugural season in the Big 12.

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