It's not everyone Huggins targets, of course. Kevin Jones, for example, had one of his worst nights of the season, missing all five of his 3-point attempts, scoring just 12 points and grabbing on six rebounds. He averages 20.3 points and 11.3 rebounds.
But he can't do it alone, especially on those rare occasions he's not at the top of his game.
"You're trying to survive and you're trying to win enough games so that K.J. gets to finish his career the way he should,'' Huggins said. "What I feel like is going in there for three hours [at practice] and just running the absolute you know what out of them, and make them stand there and take charges and make them dive on the floor. But you can't do it at this time of the year. And I didn't do it [before] because everybody said, 'Well, they're freshmen.' Yeah, they're freshmen that don't win, that's what they are.
"If I'm a freshman, I'm looking at Kevin Jones and what that guy has done and what that guy has meant and I'm saying, 'Man, I'll do whatever I can do to help this guy.' ''
Whether or not it is too late to salvage West Virginia's current season remains in doubt, although the chances of doing so and earning that NCAA bid dwindle with each loss. Even if the Mountaineers can win their final two regular-season games at home against DePaul on Tuesday and at South Florida Saturday, they still will likely need multiple wins in the Big East tournament.
Huggins was asked if perhaps his younger players weren't terribly worried about giving every ounce of effort because they know that with only three upperclassmen on the roster he has little choice but to play them regardless.
"You know what they'd better start worrying about? Where they're going to go next, because we're not going to do this. I'm not going to do it,'' Huggins said. "If that sounds hard and cruel, you know what? They have a responsibility.
"I always got in trouble because I tried to save the world. I tried to save everybody. But isn't there a point in time where you have to carry your own weight? I don't run socialism. We're not going to have five or six guys work so the rest of them can have a good time. We're not going to do that. That's totally different than what I was a long time ago, but you eventually realize that those guys don't appreciate anything anyways. All they do is hurt your other guys.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1