"We don't have centers,'' Huggins said. "We had a center and it didn't work out very well.''
Then again, that doesn't seem to both Huggins much at all. In fact, it actually solves one of the philosophical problems West Virginia faced when it was thrust into the Big 12. In the Big East, strong center play was the norm. Teams like Louisville and Villanova go along without a big body in the middle - as did West Virginia during its Final Four season of 2010 - but for the most part the best teams had a big banger (think Pitt, UConn, Georgetown, Syracuse, etc.) and you had to have a counter to that.
That's not the case as a general rule in the Big 12, so Huggins has tried to remake the roster. Goodbye to Deniz Kilicli. Hello to, well, just about all the newcomers.
"You go recruit a guy like Deniz because everybody in the Big East had one,'' Huggins said. "But looking back, when we were really good it was because Wellington Smith could drag people away from the basket.''
So enter Dibo and Adrian, both of whom are 6-foot-7 or more and can shoot 3s. Enter Watkins and Williams, neither of whom are 3-point guys, but who can still step away from the basket. Ditto Noreen, whose biggest contributions last year seemed - although it might have been an anomaly - to be his completely unexpected, almost jaw-dropping 3s.
"They're capable of making shots,'' Huggins said of all of his big men. "Now, whether they do or whether they don't, I don't know. But they're very capable of making shots. And we made a conscious effort to bring guys in who could make shots.''
If they can make shots, that will help as WVU tries to do something about that 13-19 season of a year ago. Just as significant, though, is whether they can defend shots. There was nothing more consistently infuriating to Huggins a year ago than his own inability to convey to his team the significance of playing aggressive, 40-minute defense. It came in spurts. Spurts don't get the job done.
So, are these guys he recruited - as well as the ones left over - capable of playing that kind of defense? Just as importantly, will they buy into the notion that it's important?
"That remains to be seen,'' Huggins said. "I can't positively tell you yes or no. Two hours a week is kind of hard to judge.''
That's what Huggins has had to work with his players up to this point, the NCAA's allowable maximum for pre-practice practice, so to speak. That changed with Monday's first official workout. Between now and Nov. 8, Huggins has 30 days of allowable practice to find out.
Hopefully by then he'll have more illuminating answers.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.