Tag:Bob Huggins
Posted on: January 25, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 3:54 pm

All over but the shouting for K-State and WVU?

Bob Huggins yelling

Posted by Eric Angevine

Last season, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins and his protege, Kansas State's Frank Martin, put on postseason runs that were the envy of most every other program in DI basketball. Martin's Wildcats made the Elite Eight before falling to Butler, and Huggy Bear took the Mountaineers all the way to the Final Four. The former co-workers both used the same ear-splitting style to get the most out of their players. Martin, these days, has the reputation of being the most intense coach since one Robert Montgomery Knight patrolled the sidelines.

This season, however, both have struggled to repeat their success. The Wildcats are 14-7 and have fallen to 10th place in the Big 12 with a 2-4 mark. West Virginia is better off, going 13-5 overall and 4-2 in the Big East.

The losses can be explained by many different factors: graduations, injuries, suspensions, you name it. What is more unusual is the number of incidents in which young players seem to have given up, or just tuned their coaches out altogether. Jacob Pullen has publicly stated that he won't play an NIT game if the Wildcats don't garner an NCAA berth in his senior season. His teammate, Jamar Samuels, said he was unphased by Martin's shouting, and lackadaisically promised to give that whole "leadership thingy" a try some day. Huggins has had it far worse this week. Freshman Noah Cottrill quit the team formally, sophomore Dan Jennings wandered out of the arena in the middle of a game, and leading scorer Casey Mitchell was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

Clearly, these kids aren't getting the message, and it's not because they need the volume turned up.

Before the season started, ESPN the Magazine ran a piece by Seth Wickersham that explored the psychology of Huggins, Martin and a few other shouters.

In some cases, screaming can be incredibly effective. Under pressure, some athletes become lost in their own heads, thinking about the task at hand. Such stress wastes precious resources that could be turned to solving the problem.

But (Stanford professor Roderick) Kramer stresses that the decibel level matters far less than the content of the yelling and the personality of the yeller. Yelling works best if the content is positive and if the yeller cares about his audience. But if the bellowing is abusive, if it's meant to tear into self-esteem, it often has the opposite effect. "You want to arouse a sense of confidence with yelling," Kramer says. In other words, yell out of love.

Frank Martin conniption I've never been screamed at or coached by either of these men, so I can't judge the intent behind their shouting. The piece also points out that Coach K is a screamer, and he's won multiple national championships. In fact, he'll soon pass his own mentor, world-class verbal depth charge dropper Bob Knight, on the all-time DI wins list. It's impossible to say from this remove how yelling works in each situation. Heck, most of us yell at one time or another -- I know I do -- it's human nature to crank up the decibels when you're not being heard.

If I were to hazard a guess, and I am, I'd say that the yelling probably takes on a more frustrated tone when your team is slumping and suffering from sky-high expectations. The words might cut a little deeper when a player is mired in his own secret self-doubt. To quote the Boss "You end up like a dog that's been beat too much, til you spend half your life just coverin' up."

On the other hand, some of these kids need to imagine what it's going to be like some day when they're working at a retail store or sitting at a desk, and a sharp-tongued boss reams them in his office. At that point, the ramifications of talking back or walking out might mean the rent doesn't get paid next month. I've been in those situations, you probably have too. Sometimes it's worth it to quit, sometimes it's not. I'd have to think a free ride through college, with tutors and a support system, might be one of those situations where discretion is the better part of valor.

Bob Huggins, Coach K and Frank Martin can't suddenly change the way they motivate. It will be transparent and most likely fail. But yelling is a blunt instrument, and it can be backed by caring. Huggins showed where he's coming from last March, when he knelt at floor level to console a badly injured Da'Sean Butler. I believed then and still believe that Bob Huggins showed the world what's underneath that gruff exterior, and it's likely that most of his players feel that. Frank Martin has not yet had that moment, and it's entirely possible that he doesn't have it in him right now. Perhaps he'll mellow with age.

It will be interesting to see if it's all over but the shouting in Manhattan, KS.
Posted on: December 27, 2010 10:32 am
Edited on: December 27, 2010 10:36 am

Coach Speak: Bob Huggins was a Monk?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Welcome to Coach Speak. It's going to be a regular Monday feature here at the CBS College Basketball Blog. This space will be dedicated to tracking down the best in coaching sound-bites every week. We'll also keep track of moves on the coaching carousel as they happen.

Today, we check out video from the Bob Huggins Show, which aired December 25th at West Virginia Illustrated. I love how Huggy Bear projects charisma and toughness even while slouching in a folding chair wearing a track suit.

Money quote:

“My dad took the job. He didn’t know what they were paying. When he found out what they were paying, he decided maybe I should take the job. It’s Brotherhood of Christian instruction and they take the same vows that priests do. They take the vow of poverty and they want everybody else to live it. I did that for three years.”

-Huggins talks about his coaching start at Walsh College, which played an exhibition game at WVU on December 22

A few other gems from a quiet holiday weekend in college hoops:

"We’ve been 8-4 before, we’ve been 9-4, I'm not trying to make light of it, I'm not trying to make it worse than it is," Izzo said. "If I keep scheduling this way, we're gonna have some losses. ... I’m disappointed. But I've been here before so I know what to do over Christmas. It’s a lot harder work than shopping."

-Tom Izzo following Michigan State's loss to Texas

I hope Santa puts some more patience under my tree. Hopefully Santa puts some toughness and grittiness and meanness under their trees."

-Tony Barbee on his hopes for the 4-7 Auburn Tigers

Eventually, it gets a little bit old going and seeing different places and schools but not winning. Now, these guys just look at it [games against BCS teams] as another game.”

-Maine coach Ted Woodward on a victory at Penn State that capped a four-game win streak

“You know, we were 4-4 16 days ago. A lot of people had written us off. We really came back (through) our cohesiveness and togetherness and just being a tough, gritty team.”

-Butler assistant coach Darnell Archey on the importance of winning the Diamond Head Classic

"I do like where we are as a team. To win three of those four games is good. We're pretty healthy. We're 10-2, we've played a really good schedule. I think we're well prepared for Pac-10 play."

-Washington State head coach Ken Bone after his team lost to Butler in the DHC championship game

"We weren't emotionally where we needed to be at the beginning of the game."

-Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury utters the understatement of the weekend following a DHC loss to host Hawaii

Hot Seats

Five coaches who could soon have all the wrong things in common with Mike Singletary.

1. Stan Heath, South Florida. In December, the Bulls are 2-4, beating VCU and Auburn and losing to Florida Atlantic, Kent State, James Madison and Cleveland State. That runs Heath's record at USF to 47-61 in four years. On New Year's Eve, they'll start a brutal stretch of three games against ranked Big East opponents.  

2. Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are 6-5 with losses to Kennesaw State and Siena. Northwestern beat them by 20. To think, Hewitt was actually courted for the Boston College job over the summer. Think the folks on Chestnut Hill are glad they went a different direction right about now? The good news is that Fordham is snowed in, so Hewitt gets a temporary reprieve before a New Year's Eve date with Mercer.

3. Sidney Lowe, NC State. Lowe was on the hot seat all summer, especially after no-nonsense Debbie Yow was hired as the new Wolfpack AD. He won his stay of execution by talking Tracy Smith into coming back for his senior season and landing a stellar class of freshmen. The result? 7-4, with all four losses coming in statement games. An up year in the down ACC is all that's standing between Lowe and the unemployment line.

4. Pat Knight, Texas Tech. These legacy hires never seem to work out in the Big 12. Knight is close to repeating the coaching fate of Sean Sutton, whose career lasted 62 games at Oklahoma State after he took over for his famous dad Eddie. Knight's team is so moribund, they lost to Stan Heath's Bulls at the South Padre Island Invitational in November.

5. Ed DeChellis, Penn State. The Nittany Lions are famous for keeping coaches around as long as humanly possible, but losing to Maine in the Bryce Jordan Center just before Christmas seems symptomatic of the mediocre effort given by DeChellis teams in his seven-and-a-third year run as head coach. 

Getting warmer: Jeff Capel, Oklahoma; Trent Johnson, LSU; Craig Robinson, Oregon State

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com