MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The Coliseum was just quiet enough Sunday and Bob Huggins was just frustrated enough that the message was easy to hear on television, never mind the court.
"Remi!" the West Virginia coach yelled. "Would you rebound the ball?"
The way Huggins explained it later, he thought if junior college transfer Remi Dibo tried and succeeded, he might like the feeling and want to experience it again. Soon Dibo would have a new hobby that could maybe become a habit.
To his credit, Dibo, who was in just his third game with the Mountaineers, politely answered, "Yes."
It's possible Dibo was startled by the sideline sarcasm or that he's new to the tactic and knew only to respond when asked a question. Or maybe Dibo can rebound and the 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward rejects the notion he's not capable.
"I definitely need to use my size," Dibo said. "Me being 6-7, 6-8, I've got to show I'm capable of going down and getting some rebounds because of my size. If I'm not able to do that, then just making shots isn't going to help me because everyone can make shots."
It's one of those things the newcomer is trying to sort out on the floor, a process that takes another turn tonight when the Mountaineers (2-1) play host to Georgia Southern (2-1) at 7 p.m. inside the Coliseum.
The game, which is the first in the Cancun Challenge, will be televised by Root Sports. WVU plays host to Presbyterian at 1:30 p.m. Saturday before playing two games in Cancun. The first is against Old Dominion Tuesday.
"He's not going to get seven or eight a game - he's not big enough," Huggins said of Dibo. "When we get into the league against some bigger guys, he's going to get knocked around."
Dibo spent much of his life in France and grew up playing the international style he thinks is so misunderstood. He knows Americans think international players, and particularly Europeans, are soft. Dibo, who his new teammates learned is a kick boxer and also has a yellow belt in karate, laughs at the fallacy.
"Since I've been here, that's all I've been hearing," he said. "That's why I'm smiling, because I'm definitely aware of that."
Dibo was born in the Ivory Coast and has dual citizenship in France, where he started playing internationally for the country's under-16 national team. He later played for Team Africa's under-18 team in the adidas Nations Camp and was offered a scholarship by many schools, including Kentucky, as part of the 2009-10 recruiting class.
"It's a different style of play, it's a different culture," he said. "You've got guys who bring the art of flopping. Guys will elbow you in the chest when the ref doesn't see you. They'll grab you and push you when it's not seen by the ref. It's a skill."