Huggins: Many Ways to Win in College Hoops
- By John Antonik
- June 13, 2013 02:08 PM
What makes college basketball so interesting is that teams can win games many different ways. It can win by focusing on defense and stopping the other team, or, it can win by outscoring the opposition.
John Beilein, who once coached at WVU and recently led Michigan to the brink of a national title last spring, runs his program a certain way. Beilein’s successor at West Virginia, Bob Huggins, has won more than 70 percent of his games and has taken two different teams to the Final Four by employing a completely different style of play. Clearly, both styles work.
Huggins touched on the topic briefly last Friday evening before the start of his annual fantasy camp.
“I think the great thing about our game is there are a lot of ways to play it,” Huggins explained. “You can be successful playing a lot of different ways. John has his style and the majority of what I do is because that’s what my dad taught me. I think John and I are similar. We both started out at a lower level and we both continued to work our way to a higher level.”
There are, however, core principles that all successful coaches must adhere to. Huggins explains, “I think if you win on a consistent basis you do a pretty good job with the fundamental things and I think that is something that John has done a terrific job of is fundamentally they are very good,” he said. “They play the game the right way - even though there are a lot of different ways to play - there is a right way to play and a wrong way to play and his teams, I think, have always played the right way.”
When studying Beilein’s stuff during the transition from Kansas State to West Virginia back in 2007, Huggins said he discovered some things Beilein did while he was at WVU that he wanted to incorporate in his system. Some of those things are still a part of what Huggins does.
“That’s what we do – we steal from each other,” he said.