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Mark Few, Bob Huggins formed friendship over years of coaching

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins makes light of Gonzaga coach Mark Few during a press gathering Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in San Jose. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins makes light of Gonzaga coach Mark Few during a press gathering Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in San Jose. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

SAN JOSE, Calif. – After decades as prominent college basketball coaches, Bob Huggins and Mark Few have at times come off a bit prickly, particularly when dealing with sports reporters who have spent those years asking the same questions over, and over, and over.

But when talking about each other, “Fewy” and “Hugs” sure seem chummy.

“The Hugs you guys see is the same Hugs I see when it’s just me and him,” Few claims.

But how many of us have ever actually pulled the Gonzaga coach aside, sat him down on our TV show and cheered the guy up? Huggins did it at the 2012 Final Four in Houston, bringing Few on The Bob Huggins Show to talk about fishing and the like.

“I felt sorry for him,” Huggins said. “He was walking through the park like somebody killed his dog. Frank Martin and I were sitting there doing – it was my coach’s show. So I was just trying to cheer him up, you know. Tried to help him. He was very happy at the end because he got, put some digs in against me on my own show.”

One can discern the nature of Few’s barbs considering fishing was the topic of that day’s show. He got a few more in again on Wednesday.

“(Huggins) theoretically, supposedly likes to fish,” Few joked. “I’ve never seen it or seen any pictures or anything. But he talks about it. kind of does other things, sitting in the boat.”

Like any major college coaches who have been around for a while, Few and Huggins have seen each other a multitude of times at clinics, Final Fours and recruiting expeditions. They have also coached against each other a number of times.

The first was Dec. 4, 1999, when No. 1 Cincinnati held off No. 25 GU 75-68. But Few has won the four matchups since, all against Huggins’ West Virginia teams.

Their teams will face off for a sixth time on Thursday. And there is a good bet that whichever coach loses will be rooting for the winner to advance to the Final Four on Saturday.

“(Few is) actually fun to be with,” Huggins said. “He doesn’t look like that, but he’s actually a lot of fun to be with.”

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