West Virginia Mountaineers head coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2022 inductee Bob Huggins, whose record as the University of Cincinnati Bearcats head coach from 1989 to 2005 was 399-127, added fuel to the fire of WVU’s upcoming showdown Saturday night with the Xavier University Musketeers at Cintas Center as part of the 2022 Big East–Big 12 Battle.
‘I don’t have any good thoughts of Xavier whatsoever,’ Huggins told reporters Thursday. ‘None. Absolutely none.’
Huggins’ record against XU in the Crosstown Shootout was 8-8. Huggins and WVU lost to Sean Miller and the Musketeers in overtime in the 2008 NCAA Tournament in Phoenix.
‘They will call names out, yes,’ Huggins added. ‘It’s quite a rivalry. I think more so on their side than UC’s side. … (Former XU head coach) Pete (Gillen) and I didn’t get along very well. Then that all changed. Pete and I got along very well after that. We got to be good friends.’
‘I was never combative,’ Huggins joked. ‘Let me tell you something, if the same things were happening to you, you’d be much more combative than I was. How’s that? … Very rarely did we play that we both weren’t ranked. Very, very rarely.’
Huggins is in his 16th season with the Mountaineers. He agreed in Aug. 2021 to a two-year contract extension as WVU’s head coach that includes an option to step aside or continue after the 2023-24 season.