It's a game that can become brutal and difficult to watch, but more significant, difficult in which to play. And for the most part, the current Mountaineers don't have much of a frame of reference.
"How many of them understand that? Juwan and [Noreen]?'' Huggins said. "Not many of them.''
Still, there's that game tape to switch on and provide clear evidence of the nastiness. Last year's mess occurred when WVU's Deniz Kilicli made a basket with 1:37 to play to make the score 61-54. Underneath him, sprawled on the floor, Staten and Marshall's Robert Goff got tangled up. When Staten got up and tried to run down the floor, Goff kicked his leg up between Staten's legs.
Eventually, Goff was given a flagrant foul and ejected. Browne and Marshall's Nigel Spikes were given technical fouls. And Harris, Henderson, Aaric Murray and Jabarie Hinds were all ejected from the game for leaving the bench.
Still, of WVU's top eight players - that's all the Mountaineers played in a loss to No. 20 Gonzaga Tuesday - only Browne and Noreen have played significant minutes in two games between the teams and Staten in one. Henderson started last year's game but played just nine minutes, while Harris played two minutes. That's it.
And video evidence or not, it's hard to convey the animosity between the teams. Even WVU freshman Nathan Adrian, who grew up in Morgantown and has at least seen a few of the battles, probably doesn't quite understand, said Huggins.
"He's probably thinking it's like Morgantown against University,'' Huggins said. "And it's not.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1