College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, December 26, 2009
Apparently, Bob Huggins never heard the phrase, "you can't go home again," or, if he did, hasn't bothered to take its message to heart. Born in Morgantown, West Virginia, Huggins made a long coaching journey - with great success - through places like the University of Cincinnati (1989-2005) and Kansas State (2006-2007), but finally made it back to his home, and since last season has been the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Experts figured it would take Huggins a couple of years to reshape he program into a national contender, something he did at Cincinnati, but Huggins appears to be ahead of schedule. After opening the Big East season with a 90-84 overtime win at Seton Hall Saturday, the Mountaineers are 10-0, one of just six unbeaten college basketball teams.
Led by sophomore Devin Ebanks, who matched his career high with 22 points, the forward also nabbed 17 rebounds, his high of the season. Aiding in the effort were Kevin Jones (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Da'Sean Butler (21 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists).
Holding off the Pirates was no easy task as junior guard Jeremy Hazell poured in 41 points, though he hit only 4 of 19 shots from 3-point range. West Virginia rallied from a late ten-point deficit to force overtime, finally putting the Pirates down in the extra session. Seton Hall is 9-2.
NOTABLE: On Friday, USC downed UNLV, 67-56, to capture the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, led by Marcus Johnson's 19 points and 9 boards. The Trojans, who began the 2009 campaign 2-4, have now won 6 straight, including solid victories over quality foes: Tennessee, Western Michigan, St. Mary's and UNLV.