MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Bob Huggins is confident his team will be a lot better than it was in 2021-22.
The Hall of Famer’s 15th season with the Mountaineers was a clear disappointment. Huggins lost much of his team from the previous season, including four starters, and had to scramble to make up the difference with a set of graduate transfers.
That piecemeal WVU squad went on to win just four games in the Big 12 and complete its third losing season under Huggins.
“We just — we had a bad year,” Huggins said on Wednesday at Big 12 Media Days. “We had a bad year, we made some mistakes that were hard to imagine we could have made those kinds of mistakes. I mean, we were two wins away from playing in the NCAA Tournament, and when you throw it to the other team as many times as we threw it to the other team, it’s hard to make it up.”
This season, Huggins is dealing with an astronomical number of departures compared to 2021, as 11 of his players from the last campaign have left the program for a variety of reasons. This time around, though, he was much more proactive in the transfer portal, scoping up seven players — including returning fan-favorite Emmitt Matthews Jr. — to fill in his roster.
Despite the heavy transfer load, this preseason feels different than last year’s to Huggins. That, he said, is due to his players’ mentality, especially those who came to Morgantown through the transfer portal.
“I think our guys have fantastic attitudes. Their work ethic has been really good, it wasn’t so much that a year ago,” Huggins said. “I think we’ve gained by subtraction in some regards.”