WVU's long road to the Big 12

The Mountaineers will be a young bubble team in their new conference

Updated: May 21, 2012, 12:55 PM ET
By John Gasaway | ESPN Insider
Bob HugginsScott Sewell/US PresswireAs West Virginia moves to the Big 12, Bob Huggins is confident his team will adjust.

Bob Huggins sounds like a confident man. When asked how his West Virginia Mountaineers will adjust to life in the Big 12 starting in 2012-13, he has a standard reply: "A better question might be, how are they going to adjust to us?"

I admire Huggins' attitude. After all, if I were a coach and my leading returning scorer were Deniz Kilicli, I might not sound quite so optimistic. Last season Kevin Jones and Darryl Bryant each logged more than 90 percent of the available minutes at their respective positions for the Mountaineers, but both players have graduated. West Virginia will be a young team in its Big 12 debut.

Make that young and very well-traveled. You might think the current conference realignment frenzy regularly produces odd geographic pairings. Perhaps so, but even by the wacky standards of 2012, West Virginia playing in a league otherwise comprised of teams from Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas is an outlier.