Gary Browne popped up in the postgame scene after West Virginia's Thursday night basketball win over Alcorn State with sweat on his jersey, a statistic in his head and a smile on his face.
"I knew I was getting a lot of rebounds," West Virginia's freshman point guard said.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Browne had 12, the most by a WVU guard since Mike Gansey grabbed a dozen in the 2006 NCAA Tournament against Northwestern State.
It was a necessity for the Mountaineers, not because they needed it to beat a team by 35 points, but because Huggins called out everyone not named Kevin Jones and Deniz Kilicli following Tuesday's loss to Kent State.
Jones had 18 rebounds and Kilicli had 15 as WVU outrebounded the Golden Flashes, 46-31, in defeat. The Mountaineers won the season opener against Oral Boberts, but were outrebounded, 37-24.
"They're going to look at the stats and say we outrebounded them by 15," Huggins said after the loss. "No we didn't. Kevin and Deniz got 33 of them. What'd the rest of them do?"
Browne accepted the challenge and rebounded from a bad game.
He had nine points, six assists, two steals and tried eight shots against Oral Roberts, but had two points, one assist and just one shot against Kent State. Browne had four fouls and played 18 minutes.
"Foul trouble kept me out of rhythm and I should never be out of rhythm," Browne said. "I'm the point guard and I need to lead by example. The second game got me out of my mind. I talked with coach and we fixed things."
Browne ended up with eight points and four assists to go with his rebounds against Alcorn State and took nine shots. He made three, something he'll work to improve tonight when WVU (2-1) plays Morehead State (1-2) at 7 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center (ROOT Sports Pittsburgh telecast).
"He played so much harder so much more assertive," Huggins said.
The two had a talk after the Kent State loss and Huggins told Browne to play hard, regardless of whatever circumstances might rise up to discourage that in the game. Browne listened.
Huggins thinks Browne is the team's best player at getting to the ball and Browne repeatedly showed why against Alcorn State.
Browne can't do too much offensive rebounding because he has to get back on defense and stop the other team's transition offense, but he scooped up 10 defensive rebounds.
"Most of those rebounds were balls that hit the floor," Huggins said.