WHILE West Virginia's football team was preparing for LSU's Bayou Bengals this past week, the school's basketball coach was doing what he does best: chasing tigers by the tails.
It's a contact period for NCAA basketball coaches, so Bob Huggins was making his recruiting rounds.
"Name some place,'' he said, "and I could probably check it off."
He'd just deplaned from a tight squeeze on a Comair jet, which probably wasn't the most comfortable spot for a big man recovering from seven fractured ribs.
But it's been that kind of year for Huggins since making last season's Final Four.
Consider: After making the Final Four, WVU fell to Duke by 21 once there. De'Sean Butler injured his knee. Devin Ebanks jumped early to the NBA.
Huggins fractured the ribs in a Las Vegas hotel fall.
Freshman signee Darrious Curry was found to be medically ineligible. Another signee, 7-foot-1 David Nyarsuk from Mountain State Academy, returned to Beckley and will play for Mountain State University after failing to meet the ACT requirements to play Division I ball.
Then there was the latest incident involving point guard Joe Mazzulla, who was cited, along with teammate Dalton Pepper, for disorderly conduct and public urination. Neither was arrested, and Huggins said at the time the matter was being reviewed and would be handled internally.
Apparently, it has been.
"He's fine," Huggins said of Mazzulla when asked about suspension, etc.
The hurried coach added "it's too late" to replace Nyarsuk with another player before dashing off to his next flight.
Huggins refuses to talk about recruits, but there were two very large young men at WVU's home football game against Maryland.