Columns/Opinion, Men's Basketball, Opinion, WVU Sports

COLUMN: Where it concerns Bob Huggins’ future at WVU, the crazy thing is there’s no wrong answer

MORGANTOWN — As far as Google tells us, there is no word for an equation that has no wrong answer.

We’re here to tell you today that WVU men’s hoops coach Bob Huggins is exactly that textbook definition.

The Mountaineers wrapped up what could only be described as an inconsistent season with a 67-65 loss to Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

It was inconsistent in the fact that just when you thought this team was going to be great, it showed otherwise. When you thought they were simply going to mail it in, the Mountaineers, again, proved otherwise.

In the end, it was a 19-15 season, an eighth-place finish in the Big 12, which was so highly thought of by computer rankings that it was all still good enough for WVU to get an invite to the Big Dance.

It was a short stay, but whether or not you believe this season was successful is an opinion we’ll leave entirely up to you.

We’re here to talk about Huggins’ future, and to his credit, it was not a question he ignored.

“It’s like anything else, you know? You probably got people who enjoy reading what you write, and there’s people who say I wouldn’t read a damn thing he writes,” Huggins began. “I got the same situation going on. I got people who think I should stay on for quite a while, and there’s people probably thinking I ought to pack it in and let some young kid come in and screw it up.”

Huggins’ summation couldn’t have been more dead on.

A quick trip through social media will show you hundreds praising the job Huggins has done, hundreds more who can’t wait for WVU to move on with another coach.

The crazy part of the whole equation is the two sides don’t cancel each other out. Instead, they’re both right.

There simply is no wrong answer.

You’re right for crediting Huggins for getting WVU back to the NCAAs, even for “fixing it,” a phrase the coach has used many times when the program has taken a step back.

You’re also right to criticize him for breaking it in the first place.

At WVU, Huggins has 59 victories against AP Top 25 opponents, more than all other WVU men’s hoops coaches have combined.

WVU is also 97-100 overall in Big 12 regular-season play since joining the league in 2012, basically the textbook definition of average. The Mountaineers have gone three consecutive seasons without winning at least 20 games.

WVU has played in three Big 12 tournament championship games. It’s also gone 38-57 in all Big 12 games in the four years following the last of those three title-game appearances.

He’s taken the program to great heights not seen in 51 years with the 2010 Final Four. He’s also taken the program to depths you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy.

It’s when you digest the entirety of the picture without bias that the conclusion comes there is no wrong answer.

Should Huggins be allowed to stay as WVU’s head coach as long as he wants? Absolutely.

Is Huggins on a very hot seat? Absolutely.

The facts of Huggins’ current status is he’s already reached an agreement to remain as the head coach for the 2023-24 season, in which he will earn another $4.15 million, plus incentives.

The next key date is May 1, which, according to his contract, Huggins and WVU athletic director Wren Baker have to reach an agreement by then to extend Huggins’ for the 2024-25 season.

The ultimate question is what view does Baker have of the men’s hoops program?

Does he give credit for the total picture or is he a what-have-you-done-lately kind of guy?

In either case, Baker is in a situation where there is no wrong answer, not exactly a bad position for an athletic director to be.

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