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No golf today for Holgorsen, Huggins

WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen and men's basketball coach Bob Huggins were both in attendance Thursday night as a dinner in conjunction with the WVU Classic was held at Berry Hills Country Club.

The event also consisted of a drawing for foursomes as several West Virginia coaches will play a round at the course starting at 10 a.m. today with donors and other attendees.

Neither Holgorsen or Huggins will play, but several of football assistant coaches will.

Holgorsen said his skill set on the course and a few other items on his plate prevented him from playing today.

"[My game]'s awful," Holgorsen said. "I wish I was good because I hear it's a pretty good course but there's a lot of other things that I need to worry about than playing golf. I like to play golf too, but I'm so bad I'm not worried about it. I can tell the people of West Virginia that if the Mountaineer head coach is good at golf, he's probably not going to win very many games, so I put the clubs up a few years ago."

While the two didn't have much to say about the happenings on the course at Berry Hills, both praised the city of Charleston and the WVU fans in the capital city. 

"I love Charleston," Huggins said. "[It's] a great Mountaineer city, the people here are great, and this is a great event."

" I always enjoy coming to the southern part of West Virginia," Holgorsen said. "I've been quoted as saying it's one of the best-kept secrets in the entire United States. I've been to Charleston four or five times, been on the outskirts, been to Beckley, been to the Greenbrier, and it's one of the prettier places in the United States. This means a lot to West Virginia athletics and it's always a good time to come down here and hang out with good people."

Both admitted to having full schedules. In addition to various Mountaineer Athletic Club and alumni events, there are also the teams to worry about and how they are progressing through the summer.

Huggins' squad is enjoying the new basketball practice facility, and Huggins said his players have been working hard, forcing him to "face the music," so to speak.

"Our guys are in Morgantown and they've been working," Huggins said. "The practice facility has been great and I can always tell when they're in there because I can hear the music from my office.

"[I've heard] a lot of music - a lot of music I really don't want to hear. For some reason those guys don't play country, I don't understand it."

As expected, WVU's move to the Big 12 was also a topic of conversation on Thursday.

Huggins said he has been asked questions about adjusting to play in the conference but said his team will offer new challenges for the rest of the league as well.

 "Everybody asks me that question and I keep saying, what are they going to do with us?" Huggins said. "Basketball is basketball. I think in the Big 12 the difference is everywhere you go it's an unbelievable crowd. It's a great home-court advantage, which sometimes in the Big East you don't get. But I think we've played enough in those environments that we'll be fine."

On the football side, the squad will have to get through a home date with Marshall, a game at FedEx Field with James Madison and a home game against Maryland before life in the Big 12 officially begins with a contest against Baylor in Morgantown on Sept. 29.

Holgorsen was quick to point out that despite the hype, his players and staff have their sights set no further than Sept. 1 and the Thundering Herd.

"If you walk around our office and study what everybody's looking at right now, it's 100 percent about Marshall and that's it," Holgorsen said. "We try to make ourselves better and then when it comes to who we play, it's going to be about Marshall and that's the only game we're focused on.

"If you don't think it's a big game, try to lose one and then you'll figure out how big it is."

While the football team is rolling into 2012 with a lot of momentum after pummeling Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl, Huggins' squad limped toward the finish last year, losing to Connecticut 71-67 in its first game of the Big East tournament, then getting drilled 77-54 by Gonzaga in the opener of the NCAA tournament.

Many of the Mountaineers' woes came on offense but Huggins said that this year's crop of freshmen should provide some help on that end of the floor.

"I think they can make shots, which I think is going to be a positive," Huggins said. "I think the physicality is the thing that they'll have to fight a little bit, but they can make shots."

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  • With the NBA Draft looming three weeks away on June 28, Huggins was asked about what he was hearing concerning graduated senior Kevin Jones, who narrowly missed being voted the Big East player of the year and averaged 20.1 points and 11.1 rebounds.

    So far, Huggins said the word has been positive and he even had a prototype that Jones could follow on the next level.

    "They're going to get a great guy," Huggins said. "No. 1, he's as good a guy as anybody could ever have, he's as hard-working as anyone is ever going to get, and he rebounds the ball. I think K.J.'s calling card is rebounding the ball and he'll rebound in the NBA. I think the way things are going [he'll go] in the first round. I think he's a first-rounder.

    "You look at [Udonis] Haslem. K.J. is as big or bigger than Haslem and Haslem has been very successful. I don't think [size] is going to be a problem. People have come in and they're amazed that he's 255 pounds with 7 percent body fat. He's done a great job and he's worked like crazy to get where he is."

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  • While Holgorsen and Huggins both declined to participate in the golf this morning, Holgorsen was kind enough to handicap the field among his assistants.

    "The guy that's the best guy on our staff is Ryan Dorchester," Holgorsen said. He's the recruiting coordinator. He's in house, he's always there while the coaches are out on the road recruiting of if they're working 78 hours a week preparing for a game, Ryan is worried about recruiting or he's on the driving range perfecting his game. He's got the No. 1 handicap on the staff.

    "We figured this out today that [offensive line coach] Bill Bedenbaugh is the worst handicapped guy on the staff, which is good too because O-line is probably the hardest position to coach."

    Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pritt@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.

     


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