Bob Huggins’ West Virginia Mountaineers are 0-10 against Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse in the history of the 25-game series between Big 12 Conference teams that began in 2013.
Hall of Fame coach Huggins raised a few eyebrows during Friday’s pre-KU-West Virginia game Zoom call with reporters covering WVU when asked if KU’s shooting ability was a factor in the Jayhawks’ domination of the Mountaineers. KU, who hit 11 3-pointers in a 14-point victory Jan. 7 in Morgantown, leads the all-time series among teams 19-6 heading into Saturday’s 3:00 p.m. contest at Allen Fieldhouse. It will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Games between West Virginia and Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse have included some blowouts by KU (26 points in 2013 and 2022; 25 in 2019; 14 in both 2014 and 2021) as well as some close fights (four overtime points in 2017 ; seven points in OT in 2015, seven points in 2020; eight points in 2018 and 10 points in 2016).
“I think their ability to shoot affects everyone. They make hits. They make hits, but they also have a lot of breaks,” Huggins said on Friday. “If you want to go through the history of the deal, I mean, come on. there.
“It’s kind of like… eh, well, they just have breaks that nobody else has,” Huggins added.
KU has a 305-17 record at Allen Fieldhouse in the 20-year Bill Self era.
“It’s kind of like going down and buying lottery tickets and you know what the result is,” Huggins said. He was asked by a reporter in a follow-up question if the Jayhawks play at home like they know they have a winning lottery ticket.
“It looks like that, doesn’t it?” Huggins added.
“What we’re supposed to do,” Huggins noted, “is we’re supposed to go back and look at a lot of the games that were played there and then you’d know. I mean, you’ve seen it with your own eyes and so I think you might explain why they always win there.
Asked if anything could be done about it, Huggins said, “It’s been many years and (visiting teams that win Allen) not much has happened.”
It should be noted that the Huggins Mountaineers are 6-5 against KU at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Huggins: His Mountaineers led by 14 points with 2 minutes and 43 seconds to play in an overtime loss to KU in February 2017 that could have been the most painful of all Mountaineer losses in Lawrence (his team was down by 18 in a loss to KU in 2015) was asked whether the second half of KU’s 87-71 win over Baylor last Saturday at the Allen Fieldhouse was the best half played by any team all season. KU outscored the Bears 55-26 in the final 20 minutes.
“Probably,” Huggins said. “They were really good. I’ve seen them have better halves but not because they were shooting shots, because of everything else that goes on in that building.
It should be noted that in Huggins’ comments on Friday, he never mentioned officiating in any way.
The Jayhawks, who are on a five-game winning streak, enter Saturday’s game with a 23-5 overall record on the season, 11-4 in Big 12 Conference play. KU is 13-1 at home this season. West Virginia enters 16-12 overall and 5-10 in league play. West Virginia is 2-7 in road games.
“They’re very good. (Jalen) I think Wilson is probably the best player in the league, he’s going to be the MVP of the league,” Huggins said. “They make shots. They shot dead when they came here (in KU’s 76-62 victory on Jan. 7 in Morgantown). They shot well all year (42.1%. 11 of 24 from threes compared to West Virginia’s 35.1% 4 of 20 from threes). They’re not as big and impressive as they used to be, but they really do snap. (Dajuan) Harris does a great job as a point guard. He has a lot of experience. He’s gone through the league many times,” added Huggins.
Huggins was a little more gracious in his comments about KU’s Allen Fieldhouse and the atmosphere in Lawrence during an interview with the Mountaineers’ radio network Friday, which, like the Zoom call, is also available on the West’s official website. Virginia.
“It’s loud,” Huggins said of Allen. “And they (the fans) sit on top of you. People come here (WVU Coliseum) and say the fans are close, not comparative to them. They are literally kicking your place out of their place in the stands. They are kicking under your seat as you sit there on the bench.
“I don’t know ‘old school’, it’s just old,” he added of Allen, which opened in 1955. “But it’s kind of a sacred building. When you think about the guys they’ve had there and the careers they’ve had and the coaches they’ve had there. … I mean, when Dr. James Naismith is there and he’s teaching physics in the building and coaching ball, he goes way back in time. They’re proud of it and they really should be,” Huggins noted.