In his first media appearance since the announcement of game postponements, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins had uncertainty in most of his answers to questions regarding an upcoming game against Kansas State on Saturday.
“I’m afraid of the unknown because I don’t know how to prepare for the unknown,” Huggins said in regard to COVID-19. “I can’t fight the unknown.”
The Mountaineers are preparing to face the Wildcats after a two-week pause because of COVID-19 issues within the WVU program. It is unclear how many players or coaches tested positive, but Huggins was unsure of what he could talk about when it came to the outbreak at West Virginia.
“I don’t know that,” Huggins said on player availability. “I can’t get into testing. Hopefully, we find out when the testing is over with, that’s all I can say.”
Throughout the last few months, sports at both the collegiate and professional level have pressed on in spite of the ongoing pandemic. Leagues like the Big 12 have put in guidelines specifically to combat the spread of COVID-19 within its affiliated schools, but issues have still arisen.
According to Big 12 guidelines for the basketball season, if a team has six players available to play, a postponement is not necessary. The Mountaineers were clearly short of that required number.
“I don’t know how to answer that either,” Huggins said on player conditioning. “I think the guys we had available — their conditioning will be fine. I have no idea about those other guys. In 43 years of being in this business, this is uncharted waters. I just don’t know what I can and can’t say.”
With COVID-19 issues continuing to pop up around college basketball and the country, Huggins expressed uncertainty on how to prepare during the season.
“Everybody is looking for ‘Here’s what it is.’ Well, there is no ‘Here’s what it is’,” Huggins said on handling COVID-19. “It’s without a question uncharted waters.”
Scheduling changes will pit West Virginia against the Baylor Bears twice in three days in February. Huggins isn’t concerned with facing the Bears in that short of a span, he’s more concerned with COVID-19.
“When I was a kid, they used to ask me, ‘You’re not afraid of very much are you?’ I would say, ‘I’m afraid of ghosts,’ Huggins said. “I would say, ‘I can’t see them; I can’t hit anything I can’t see.’ That’s how I feel right now. I can’t see this (COVID-19), and that scares me.”