But here's the thing. That grind has never seriously affected WVU. After practicing hard on Monday, practicing and traveling on Tuesday and then beginning play Wednesday, West Virginia was essentially looking at a potential six hard days in a row. Huggins tries to get his players rest when he can, but he doesn't skimp on workouts in order to do it.
His only real concession this time of year is to cut back those workouts from three hours to about 21/2.
"What if you lose? What are you saving them for?'' Huggins said. "What did that do? You've got to get ready to win.''
Last year, WVU got one of those double byes and won three hard, tough, close games in three days to win the Big East tournament. Huggins then gave the team both Sunday and Monday off from on-court workouts before beginning practice for the NCAA tournament.
Something worked right because the Mountaineers won seven straight tournament games, Big East and NCAA combined, to reach the Final Four.
Consider this, too: Even including Wednesday's loss to Marquette, Huggins is 7-3 in Big East tournament games. His teams are 3-0 with a double bye, 2-2 with a single-round bye and 2-1 with no bye at all. Granted, it's only been three years, but his .700 winning percentage is third best in Big East tournament history.
This is also his 24th Division I conference tournament. In his first 23, spread out over six different leagues, Huggins was a remarkable 38-12 (.760) and won 10 tourney titles in four different conferences.
Apparently, not backing off at this time of the year is not a bad thing.
Thoroughman was asked if he'd figured out any other keys to Huggins' postseason success.
"If I knew the answer to that I'd start coaching right now,'' Thoroughman said. "And do it the same way.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.