Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Like every other sports writer, I’ve been to a thousand press conferences where nothing much of interest was said.
The coaches rattle off some trite commentary on the game, and the players utter a few cliches about giving it their all and playing them one game at a time.
Ah, but a Bob Huggins press conference is something else altogether, a refreshing break from the daily grind and a non-stop flow of brutal honesty.
Instead of writing a column off St. John’s 78-62 rout of West Virginia tonight at MSG, I’m just going to give you some highlights from Huggs, who was in rare form.
**ON WHY WEST VIRGINIA LOST
“They played well. They played well and we sucked.”
**ON KIDS TODAY
“Honestly, I think kids today have such a — how do I put it the right way? — they put a lot more value on their ability than what that ability really deserves. You know what I mean? You hear kids talking, they can’t play dead now. I mean, they can’t play dead. And they’re talking about being in the Green Room and leaving early and…it’s a joke. I mean, it’s a farce.”
**ON WHO’S TO BLAME FOR THAT ATTITUDE
“You guys [the media]. I’m not going to take the game. TV, you guys.”
**ON HIS TEAM’S LACK OF ATHLETICISM
“We have a hard time jumping over our wallet, you know, so we’re not the most athletic bunch.”
**ON WHETHER SYRACUSE (WHOM WEST VIRGINIA PLAYS SATURDAY) IS DIFFERENT WITHOUT FAB MELO
“Well, I mean obviously, I thought he was having a great year. I thought he was probably the best shot-blocker in the country.”
**ON THE PLAY OF KEVIN JONES, WHO HAD GAME-HIGHS OF 26 POINTS AND 14 REBOUNDS
“I asked our guys, I asked all our guys that think they’re so good, you know I said, ‘Let me ask you guys something. Where would we be without No. 5? What do you think our record would be without him?’
“I mean, he’s the most valuable player in the country, what he’s done. And he’s playing with all those freshmen who can’t pass and don’t pass him the ball. And still the numbers that he gets. That’s pretty good when they can’t pass him the ball.”
**ON ST. JOHN’S STARTING FIVE FROSH
“Unfortunately, in 1991, I saw the Fab Five, I didn’t like that much. I didn’t like this a whole lot more.”
**AND FINALLY, THIS WASN’T A HUGGS QUOTE, BUT ONE OF THE BEST LINES OF THE NIGHT CAME FROM THE ST. JOHN’S STUDENT SECTION
“Big 12 sucks”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.