Bob Huggins spent some time last week considering the weather forecast for New York City. He understood what kind of storm was possible in the blizzard that Sunday brought almost 2 feet of cold, white stuff and gale-force winds to New York City.
That was then. Now, he wants his West Virginia basketball team (8-2) to come to grips with an arriving Red Storm (7-3) from snow-buried Queens, N.Y.
"I'm not sure anybody else in the league has the kind of depth St. John's has," Huggins said Tuesday.
He was talking about the Red Storm's frontcourt - not the snow blanketing St. John's campus - as erstwhile UCLA coach and ESPN analyst Steve Lavin coaches his Big East Conference debut tonight at the WVU Coliseum.
Tipoff is 7 p.m. (WCHS telecast) for the Mountaineers' 2010-11 Big East opener.
West Virginia has beaten St. John's 10 consecutive times, a streak that started in 2003-04. That's the Mountaineers' longest run of success against any foe in WVU's 15-season Big East history. Lavin was hired from Brent Musburger's and Dave O'Brien's sides to change things like that.
"Lav has done a great job there in getting them organized and getting them to buy in," Huggins said Tuesday. "They have great depth. When you bring in a (guard) Paris Horne off the bench, that says something.
"I don't think anyone in our league has three centers like they do in (6-foot-10 Dele) Coker, (6-8 Sean) Evans and (6-8) Justin Burrell.
"Nobody has that kind of depth there."
As for veterans buying in ... eight of Lavin's top 10 in minutes played are seniors.
St. John's has tournament titles in the Great Alaska Shootout and Holiday Festival this season, winning the latter last time out (Dec. 21) in handing Northwestern its only loss.