MORGANTOWN - Bob Huggins patiently tried to answer all the questions thrown at him Monday before his West Virginia basketball team held its first official practice of the season.
He would have had an easier time, of course, were there answers to many of those questions.
Take his roster, for example. It includes just 11 scholarship players and the eligibility of two of those is in question.
"It's killing you, isn't it?'' Huggins cracked when the subject of just who might be eligible came up right off the bat.
Well, killing probably isn't the right word. Call it natural curiosity.
OK, so Elijah Macon, it seems, can probably be written off for this season. He was a last-minute enrollee whose eligibility has not been settled by the NCAA. But even if he is declared eligible - and that doesn't sound likely - he has a wrist injury with which to deal.
So should we simply write him off for one of those reasons or the other?
"I'd think it would be way more [likely he doesn't play] than the other way,'' Huggins said.
All right, so on to the other question mark.
Jonathan Holton, the former Rhode Island player who was in junior college last year, was also a late enrollee. Very late. When West Virginia held its first practice Monday, Holton was supposed to be on the floor.
Come the opener on Nov. 8 against Mount St. Mary's?
"As of right now, no,'' Huggins said, but then leaving the door open a crack. "I think we'll have a final answer at the end of the week. But that's a guess.''
Of course, without Macon and perhaps Holton, things get even more interesting than they already were for a team trying to remake itself after a rather brutal first season in the Big 12. Huggins would then have a roster that consists of five veterans - guards Eron Harris, Terry Henderson, Juwan Staten and Gary Browne and forward Kevin Noreen - and four new forwards. Brandon Watkins, Devin Williams and Nathan Adrian are freshmen, Remi Debo a junior college transfer.
There's not a true center on the roster - even if those in question somehow manage to play - after Huggins got rid of Aaric Murray this summer.