MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — West Virginia men’s basketball moved to 4-0 on Friday after taking down Penn 92-58.
Bob Huggins made history with the victory, notching his 920th career win in Division I men’s basketball. That ties him for third all-time on the wins list with Jim Calhoun.
The Hall of Fame coach stayed on brand after the win, though, and was less happy about the win and more looking for improvement in his team as it prepares for a cross-country trip with potential matchups against some of the top teams in the nation next week at the Phil Knight Legacy.
Here’s what Huggins had to say:
On WVU’s offense…
There was a lot to like about West Virginia’s offense on paper.
The Mountaineers set some season highs for their short campaign so far, scoring 92 points and making 55.6 percent of their shots. They were also hot from deep, adding a 52.2-percent mark from three-point range.
But how did Huggins feel about WVU’s offense?
“Offensively, we weren’t sharp, and we’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said.
Huggins wasn’t particularly happy with his team’s ball security (WVU gave up seven turnovers, including six in the first half) and wanted his team to make smarter passes. He specifically made a reference to an attempted alley-oop by Stevenson in the first half that resulted in a turnover.
Overall, Huggins said his team passed the ball better, but he still sees room for improvement.
“We didn’t execute a lot of the things that have been really good for us. I don’t really want to get into that now because I’m sure Purdue will go and read up on it,” he said. “I think consistency might be the best word. We lack consistency at this point in time.”
On WVU’s rebounding…
West Virginia lost the battle on the glass for the first time this season, posting a minus-9 in the rebounding margin. This mark includes just six rebounds on the offensive glass.
Stevenson credited that to the team’s high percentage of makes in his postgame press conference. Huggins also attributed it to the shooting, but in a different way.
“Some of it is they take a lot of perimeter shots,” Huggins said. “The ball bangs off the front of the rim on perimeter shots, and we don’t rebound offensively because we bang too many off the front of the rim.”
Overall, Huggins wants to see improvement in that area of the game.
“We don’t rebound the ball the way we need to rebound the ball,” Huggins said. “We don’t rebound it defensively the way you need to, and we don’t rebound it offensively the way you need to.”