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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Bob Huggins gracious after exhibition loss

By Diamond Leung

When West Virginia lost to Division II Northern Kentucky in an exhibition last week, at least two Mountaineer players called the defeat "embarrassing," with coach Bob Huggins unhappy afterward as well, according to West Virginia Illustrated.
"I could use a couple other words to describe it," said Huggins. "But I probably shouldn't for the family newspapers that you guys write for."

But Huggins' postgame emotions apparently didn't stop him from approaching the Northern Kentucky coaching staff with a nice gesture, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"Come here," the driver said to NKU assistant Kevin Schappell.

A couple of minutes later, Schappell came back to tell [head coach Dave] Bezold and the other assistants the driver wanted them to come with him.

It turns out the driver was West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who wanted to take the NKU staff to dinner. Schappell was a graduate assistant at West Virginia from 2007-10, and former West Virginia point guard Darris Nichols, who played for Huggins, also is an NKU assistant.

"It felt like a scene from 'The Godfather,'" said Bezold. "It was awkward at first. I didn't really know coach Huggins that much when he was at UC, and we had just beaten them, but he was great. We just discussed the game a little bit, and he told me how big of a win it was and not to underestimate that, but he also said that good feeling stops in the next practice. He used it as teachable moment for me."

Huggins has plenty of issues to be concerned about with his own team. The Mountaineers are young, inexperienced and getting used to a faster style of play. Deniz Kilicli had missed the NKU game with a knee injury. His players were embarrassed after losing 77-74 on a last-second shot to a Division II team that hadn't beaten a Division I squad since 1984.

But Huggins still found time to make it a special night for some young assistant coaches and Bezold while they were celebrating a big win.