Bob Huggins’ ascent to tie Adolph Rupp in career wins has him walking among legends

Posted On Aug 14 2020 by

first_imgIt has been more than 17 years since Huggins suffered a heart attack while traveling through the Pittsburgh airport on a recruiting mission, which led to him being treated in an ambulance by a cousin of his friend and rival John Calipari.It has been just short of 15 years since Huggins’ awkward removal as Bearcats coach, which led to a full season out of the business — or he might have zoomed past this milestone a year ago.MORE: Chaotic college basketball teams worth your attentionOh, yes, the milestone: On Saturday, with West Virginia’s 74-51 win over Missouri, Huggins tied the great Adolph Rupp in career coaching victories. This was No. 876 for Huggins, compiled during his career at WVU, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Akron and, indeed, Walsh College.Huggins is tied for seventh among Division I coaches, just one more win from breaking the tie with Rupp and three more from catching up to — let’s take a breath here, because it’s kind of amazing — Dean Smith. Ahead are only Roy Williams, Jim Calhoun, Bob Knight, Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski.My goodness.The perception of Huggins has changed so much since his return to West Virginia, and his continued ascent through the career coaching victories list can only help in getting basketball fans to appreciate his greatness.Huggins has shown the capacity to reinvent his teams, embracing the “Press Virginia” style in 2014-15 and now turning back to his love for severe halfcourt defense with a group of Mountaineers who were not expected to achieve a ton but now stand 16-3, ranked No. 14 in the AP poll and third in the Big 12 Conference behind Baylor and Kansas. West Virginia ranks third in Division I in defense, according to the efficiency stats at KenPom.com.Huggins is the only one in this neighborhood without an NCAA championship. Of course, he spent the better part of his career coaching in off-Broadway conferences, rolling from the Metro to the Great Midwest to Conference USA during his time at Cincinnati. He helped get the Bearcats to the promised land, the Big East, but they went forward without him after he was removed from the position in the summer of 2005.There had been a few too many recent episodes of off-court indiscipline, but it was clear the move to replace him was as much about reputation as any particular incident. Huggins had begun Cincinnati’s advance toward college basketball prominence by heavily recruiting junior college talent, a team loaded with such players reaching the Final Four in 1992, just three years after he arrived. Many in the media sneered at this, and at his demonstrative and sometimes confrontational sideline style, and Huggins chose not to make a sustained effort to change anyone’s perception.That 2000 season might have done it. A championship can melt a lot of ice. That season’s Cincinnati roster was loaded with exceptional young men. Martin was the most obvious example, but also wing DerMarr Johnson; guards Kenny Satterfield, Steve Logan and Leonard Stokes; and forwards Pete Mickeal, Jermaine Tate and Ryan Fletcher. Winning a championship with this group was not a lock, because it never is, but the Bearcats would have gone into the tournament as clear favorites. A single instant changed that.”My frustration is for the guys,” Huggins said that day in Memphis. “I think I’m going to be able to do this a lot longer and will have more good teams. This was their chance. I think in life you have very few chances to be special.” He was exactly right about most of that. He has been able to coach many more years, and to compile a record that almost is staggering in its breadth. Huggins coached West Virginia to the 2010 Final Four, but the Mountaineers weren’t quite up to the challenge presented by the Duke Blue Devils and another devastating injury, this one to star forward Da’Sean Butler, wrecked any chance at a miraculous comeback.So that championship season remains what separates Huggins from Rupp, Smith, Williams, Calhoun, Knight, Boeheim and Krzyzewski.It’s about all there is now. It is hard to believe how much time has passed since the roughest moments, but it’s reflected in Bob Huggins’ burgeoning win total.It has been just short of 20 years since Cincinnati Bearcats superstar Kenyon Martin set a simple down screen in a Conference USA Tournament game at the Pyramid in Memphis, got his legs tangled with an opponent and went down with a leg fracture that ended his season and Huggins’ best shot at an NCAA championship.last_img read more


Broncos confident against Storm

Posted On May 26 2020 by

first_imgThat match ended 48-6 in Melbourne’s favour, with the Storm delivering the Broncos their worst ever loss at Suncorp Stadium.‌That Brisbane side was missing Jordan Kahu, Jack Reed, Greg Eden and Tom Opacic before a ball was even kicked, while winger Corey Oates left the field in the 18th minute due to concussion. Oates’s injury forced coach Wayne Bennett to move the 174cm Kodi Nikorima to the Broncos’ wing, but there was one large problem, his direct opponent was 18cm taller than him. Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu took full advantage of this with the help of halfback Cooper Cronk as the two took the match away from Brisbane. Cronk put a number of pinpoint cross-field kicks above Nikorima’s head, with Vunivalu soaring above Nikorima time and time again to score three tries, while Cronk himself notched up five try assists. It was the definition of using a side’s weakness to one’s advantage and something that could not have been achieved without the accuracy of Cronk’s kicking game. But all things going to plan, the Storm should not be afforded the same benefit on Friday night, with Oates intent on staying on the paddock for the full 80 minutes this time around. It is not just Oates’s health that has Blair confident of a Broncos victory, with the 31-year-old saying his side are in a better headspace and physical condition than this time last year.”We lost a lot of players that night. Kodi ended up out on the wing so it was a tough one,” Blair said.”We are in a really good place at the moment player wise. Mentally we are very good and majority of us are doing well physically. “We’ll go into this game with a good preparation. Energy and a great attitude is key to it so hopefully those things can help us come away with the win.” Recently named captain of his home country New Zealand, Blair is using his time as captain of the Broncos to hone his leadership skills heading into the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. He received the opportunity to take charge of Brisbane due to a thumb injury to regular captain and fullback Boyd who is not due back until Round 20 at the very earliest. With Boyd’s return still weeks away, Blair is enjoying the opportunity and focused on guiding his side to their first win over the Storm at Suncorp Stadium since 2009. “I still feel like I’m filling in. I guess it is a role I have to start getting used to anyway,” he said. “I enjoy being a leader, whether that is on the field with my actions or with my talk. “I’m a passionate player but at times you have to be calm and collected as a captain. “Those are the things I want to be better at so this period while Darius is away is a good opportunity for me to practice those things.”  Photo by: Scott Davis/ NRL Photos. Suliasi Vunivalu soars above the Broncos to score a hat-trick at Suncorp Stadium.last_img read more


Carriers set to break Hawaii capacity record

Posted On Aug 17 2019 by

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Airlines are expected to set a third-quarter record this year for capacity into Hawaii as visitor numbers to the state continue to surge. According to data released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, between July and September, scheduled nonstop seats to the state are forecast to exceed the previous record set five years ago, local media in Honolulu reported.Reflecting an increase of 12.6 per cent over the same period in 2011, and a 2.6 per cent increase over the record setting three-month stretch in 2007, nearly 2.7 million seats are predicted to land in Hawaii during Q3. Among the carriers to have boosted capacity to the Aloha State this year are Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Allegiant Air, whose first flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu landed just days ago. Capacity from the US East Coast and US West Coast, Hawaii’s number one source market, is anticipated to rise by 25 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively, while overall capacity from the States is predicted to rise by 10.4 per cent.Internationally, South Korea, China and Japan are expected to show gains of 55 per cent, 48 per cent and 15.4 per cent respectively, while seats from Australia and New Zealand are anticipated to grow by 29.4 per cent. International seat numbers are forecast to rise 18.1 per cent in total. Image Hawaiian Airlineslast_img read more