MORGANTOWN - They will look very different Wednesday night when they coach their West Virginia teams against their Marshall counterparts in the Capital Classic in the Charleston Civic Center.
Mike Carey will be the mustachioed one, probably in a suit with a tie, with the thinning hair he sometimes runs his fingers through as he coaches one of the best women's teams in America.
Bob Huggins normally opts for the clean shave, and his fuller head of hair is combed back - though his men's team this season has sometimes driven him to hair-pulling extremes. Quite likely, he'll wear the black Nike pullover that fans of opposing teams, for some reason, absolutely detest.
Forget the garments and hairstyles, though. Discard all the superficial stuff and imagine the men with a dry-erase board in their hands, film to devour or a practice to lead.
Mike Carey and Bob Huggins are, in so many ways, the same type of coach.
"They're both really into intensity and playing physically," said Craig Carey, who is Mike Carey's son and a walk-on for Huggins' team. "Instead of running real pretty plays, they're both more into gritty, tough offense and tough defense.
"They want to get into people. They really like to intimidate and play physical."
Neither coach is going to recruit the best of the best, although Carey has entertained and landed some elite recruits while at WVU. Mostly, though, those top-shelf players go to top-shelf programs, the kind of places where a coach can pick who he wants and the player is honored to be chosen.
Yet Carey and Huggins win, and usually it's because they've instilled in their players an instinct to want the loose ball, the tough rebound, the critical and-1 more than the opponent. That can trump talent, especially if it spreads to the things both coaches value most.
"They both feel like if they can outrebound people and guard people, they're going to win most of their games," Craig Carey said.
Mike Carey and Huggins put an aggressive emphasis on defense and rebounding. It's hard work, but it's a basic basketball philosophy. Get more possessions, get more shots, get more points, get the win.
It's an admired ability, too.
"I love watching them practice," Coach Carey said of the WVU men's team. "I can sit there and pick up new ideas and different ways to teach things because, really, it's the same style. (Huggins) wants to rebound and to play defense. He wants to be physical and create turnovers and get up and down. We try to do the same things."
Huggins agrees because he, too, is a fan of the team on the other side of the Coliseum and he sees in Carey and his team many things he sees in his team and himself.
"I watch them practice all the time," Huggins said. "They're really good. Mike's a heck of a coach. You watch them and you can tell they're very sound and very solid with what they do.