"And we've always tried to make it kind of a cultural experience for them, too'' Huggins said, referring to past foreign trips he's taken with teams, mostly those he coached at Cincinnati. "We went to Italy and went to the Colosseum and the Vatican. We went to Greece once and went to the Acropolis, went to France and the Eiffel Tower. Those are things that they're going to remember the rest of their lives.''
Of course, a few things will be familiar about next year's West Virginia team. The biggest was assured when Kevin Jones finally decided just before the deadline to withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return for his senior season.
Huggins was asked if that was bigger from the standpoint of simply having his best player back or having the most stabilizing presence on the team return.
"Oh, I think it's both,'' Huggins said. "He's without a doubt our best player, but he's also a great person. I think he sets a great example for what guys ought to be.''
Another thing that's not likely to change this year is where the Mountaineers practice. There was hope that the team's new practice facility would be available this fall, but that's pretty much out of the question.
Huggins is a bit disappointed by that, but he's not letting it get to him.
"When you get as old as I am you just roll with the punches,'' the 57-year-old coach said. "It is what it is.''
Will the team be able to get anything out of the practice facility this season?
"I'm not sure yet,'' Huggins said. "I think there's a possibility that we might be able to practice over there some during the season, but in terms of moving everything we probably won't do that until after the season.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.