Huggins, though, is trying not to make a big deal of the venue, instead invoking the Norman Dale theory from the movie Hoosiers.
"I really don't talk to them much about it. Maybe at the first time out I'll have a lot to say,'' Huggins said. "I've always felt like the rims are still 10 feet, the foul line's still 15 feet and those people in the stands haven't blocked a shot or scored a goal yet that I know of. You just go out there and play.''
But what the Mountaineers are playing against is pretty good. Mississippi State starts those two bigs - 6-10 Renardo Sidney and 6-11 Arnett Moultrie - along with a 6-8 freshman wing, Rodney Hood. Bost at one guard is the team's leader in points, assists and steals, and the other guard is steady senior Brian Bryant.
And they all play defense. The most points MSU has surrendered this season is the 68 Akron scored.
"They've got great athletes,'' Huggins said. "Dee Bost is really a good athlete. [Jalen] Steele [a 6-3 reserve guard] is really a good athlete. Hood's really long. And then when you have [Renardo] Sidney and [Arnett] Moultrie inside, they change shots, they block shots, they do a good job rebounding the ball and try to limit you to one shot.''
In other words, Huggins won't try to beat the Bulldogs in the halfcourt if he can avoid it.
"We've worked hard on trying to up the tempo,'' Huggins said.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.