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An idea from Huggins and some hoops scoops

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- No ice cream, but scoops aplenty as we near summer (yes, it's still a week away) in the Mountain State:

  • The other day I was interviewing WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins when the conversation turned to the Coliseum in Morgantown.
  • All, I think, can agree the parking situation at the facility can be improved. (The place is almost screaming for a parking garage.)

    Huggins mentioned his desire to see suites placed in the Coliseum's inner concourse. ("Why do we need two ways to walk around the Coliseum?" he asked. "Isn't the outer concourse enough? Have you ever seen people walking an inner and outer concourse at any other arena?" Answer: no.)

    Then he brought up a very intriguing idea.

    "What we need," Huggins said, "is a restaurant overtop the Blue gate."

    That gets the wheels turning, eh? Cincinnati's Fifth Third Arena, where Huggins made his name, has a restaurant and lounge area overlooking the court.

    "People can get there early, have dinner and stop in afterward," Huggins said. "It would be a big-time business tool. You'd have a captive audience for hours. It's better than getting in a golf cart."

    How would it work?

    "The university could own it or farm it out," Huggins said. "It could bid it out, like we did [beer licensing] with Sodexo."

  • On Thursday, Huggins and his staff visited Beckley's Resort at Glade Springs for a golf outing. When asked about the last available hoops scholarship for next year, the coach joked that the school would "petition for another year for [assistant coach] Ronnie [Everhart]."
  • "He was hurt for a while [playing in the early 1980s at Virginia Tech]," Huggins said. "And everybody wants a West Virginian on the team who can shoot."

    He refused, however, to comment specifically on the team's scholarship plans, other than to say the Mountaineers "need somebody who can help us at point [guard]."

    Behind the scenes, though, this is exactly what's going on. About a month ago I reported the team was after Dunbar High standout Daxter Miles of Baltimore and Shadell Millinghaus of Believe Prep in Rock Hill, S.C.

    Miles publicly committed to WVU but, as our Dave Hickman has reported, has only an outside shot of qualifying. Millinghaus, meanwhile, was in the same boat but committed to Southern Mississippi. (There are whispers he heard about the Miles-WVU connection.)

    Anyway, two more guards have now appeared on the Mountaineers' radar screen. One is former Rutgers player Jerome Seagears, who reportedly has changed his mind about transferring to Auburn.

    According to an Associated Press article, Seagears told Auburn coach Tony Barbee he wanted to be closer to his family in Silver Spring, Md. Auburn was planning to petition the NCAA in order for Seagears to be immediately eligible. He averaged 6.5 points and 2.6 assists last year at Rutgers.

    The other guard to emerge on the screen is Andre Anthony, a one-year prospect from the Community College of Beaver County in Pennsylvania. The junior college player has three semesters of eligibility left but probably would play just one season. He averaged 21.7 points for the NJCCA Division II Titans last season and hit 46.8 percent of his 3-point shots.

  • Among those at the Beckley golf tournament, by the way, was former Mountaineer guard Alex Ruoff.
  • "I'm here eating one of Hugs' famous bologna, cheese and egg sandwiches," Ruoff said by phone. "It's amazing."

    Ruoff said he recently wrapped up his fourth season playing professionally in Belgium. In addition, he was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NBA Development Draft and played for the Canton Charge and Iowa Energy.

    Now?

    "Hopefully my agent gets me another job," Ruoff said. "I'll train in Morgantown this summer and wait, hope. I think I'll get a call. Things have been going well in Belgium."

  • You might have read Rick Ryan's Thursday piece on the George Washington High trio - Trevon Johnson, Sam Plantz and Jacob Whitlock - playing in this Saturday's North-South all-star football game.
  • You might also have scratched your head a bit. Three players from one team? If you're really attentive, and checked the rosters, you've seen Martinsburg and Morgantown also have three players apiece participating. Wasn't there a two-player limit in the past?

    "Yes, but it changed," said game director Bob Mullett. "Bluntly, I'm against it because I like to spread the offers out. But sometimes you have schools like Martinsburg with great athletes and you want them there.

    "Division I players automatically get invited. Then I think South Charleston was so good a couple years back that we changed the rule to allow three kids from two schools. Now it's three from three.

    "We will, though, revisit the rule when our coaches meet at the Super Six."

    Mullett said no injuries have been reported this week, but Brooke High fullback/linebacker Raleigh Mason had to leave because of personal reasons.

  • And finally . . .
  • A couple tidbits I simply didn't know how else to use.

    First, Mullett said the first woman - Rep. Shelley Moore Capito - would handle the coin flip for the North-South football all-star game.

    And second, I spoke to former WVU basketball guard and current Glenville State assistant coach Joe Mazzulla the other day. I was trying to remember Mazzulla's uniform number and guessed it to be either 5 or 21.

    "It was 3 and 21," Mazzulla said, before explaining that Darris Nichols had his preferred No. 21 upon arriving in Morgantown.

    When Nichols left WVU, Mazzulla went back to 21.

    But why No. 3 in the interim?

    "Because 2 plus 1 equals 3," Mazzulla said.

    Sometimes life can be so simple.

    Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvingle@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.

     


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