Huggins Recovering After Surgery, Awaits Incoming Recruiting Class
Matt Hauswirth, MORGANTOWN -
Storylines were plentiful heading into the summer in regards to the West Virginia Men’s Basketball program.
Transfer Epidemic Rocks WVU, Leaves Gaping Holes.
Mountaineers Welcome Seven Newcomers for 2014-15.
Juwan Staten Relied Upon to Carry Load during Senior Season.
West Virginia Men’s Basketball witnessed a variety of changes courtesy of the transfer epidemic, which hit the program immensely hard in 2014. Two of the program’s top three scorers (Eron Harris and Terry Henderson) had decided to transfer. Not to mention, perimeter specialist Remi Dibo chose to take his talents back to his native country of France.
However through it all, Head Coach Bob Huggins has remained calm and confident that his program will rise above all the change.
But little did Huggins know – his health would be a summer storyline all by itself. Huggins received hip replacement surgery roughly two weeks ago.
“I think the last couple days – I think the difference that two days make has been unbelievable,” he said. “I went through a spell where it was a lot rougher than what it is now anyway.”
Huggins was spotted at the annual Coalton Days Parade in RandolphCounty last weekend, sporting a walker to assist in getting around. He admitted that he is happy the surgery is out of the way because it had been something he was delaying for quite some time.
“I’ve been putting it off for a long time. It gets to the point where it’s bone on bone and it just hurts all the time. It’s time to get something done. I was just trying to find the right window to do it where I could do it and really not disrupt anything,” Huggins replied.
Some WVU fans noticed something had been wrong long before his surgery just a few weeks ago. Huggins was typically seen using a stool on the sideline instead of taking a seat next to his assistant coaches.
When asked about why he would use a stool, he replied that it simply was an easier alternative during games.
“It was fine as long as I could sit on the stool,” he said. “I just couldn’t sit on that chair and really get up and down the way I was used to getting up and down. So the stool was great. That way I could get up and walk up and down the sideline.”
Huggins explained that the recovery time should be four to six weeks, barring any setbacks.
But that was when the interview shifted from talking recovery to basketball. As Mountaineer fans already know, Huggins is a fierce competitor, and cannot wait to start summer workouts with his incoming recruiting class.
“We’ll have the last four of them in by the beginning of August. But we should have probably three more in here by the end of June,” Huggins said. “We work out two hours per week. We’ve got to set the schedule so that we’re still going to be able to spend some time with them when they get in. They’re a lot more mature – I think being guys that have been away from home for a couple of years already. So we’re looking forward to it.”
Those guys who Huggins referred to as ‘more mature’, include Billydee Williams, Jaysean Paige and Tarik Phillip. All three spent time in the junior college ranks before recently accepting scholarship offers to finish out their college careers with the Mountaineers.
The other pair of class of 2014 recruits includes Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter. Carter is the only recruit to come straight from high school. Miles, on the other hand, spent a year at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Massachusetts after high school.
A more mature recruiting class should help speed up the developmental process for a team that will certainly have a number of new faces next season.
But the one familiar face will still be there in a healthier version of Bob Huggins, continuing to roam the sideline and bark out orders, the only way he knows how.