West Virginia coach Bob Huggins has had his share of verbal exchanges with fans through the years.
"That's the great thing about playing for me," he said. "(Fans are) all yelling at me, so they leave the players alone."
Yet, ever the lightning rod, Huggins said he is a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do type of coach.
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Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74074
University of Kansas, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence, KS 66045
Texas Tech University, 2500 Broadway Street, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
"I tell our guys all the time, 'I've never seen a crowd get a rebound, make a basket, commit a foul,'" Huggins said Monday on the Big 12 coaches teleconference. "Play the game the way you're supposed to play the game."
That was easier said than done for Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, who on Saturday dived in the stands for a ball and wound up shoving a Texas Tech fan who insulted him. Smart was handed a three-game suspension.
Coach Travis Ford declined to take questions on the incident on the conference call, saying "they" wanted him to focus on the next game.
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said he did not know if a racial slur was used, as Smart alleged.
"I hope that wasn't said," Smith said, referring to longtime fan Jeff Orr. "If it was said, I'm disappointed in the person who said it."
The incident reminded coaches to instruct their players about on-court decorum.
"I definitely think every coach will use this as a teaching moment," Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
Some coaches said the arenas in which the games are played promote the potential for an antagonistic atmosphere. Kansas coach Bill Self said he has been concerned for years about an incident occurring during a storming of the court by fans. Smith said social media allows fans to learn more personal information about players and create more pointed insults.
"I've coached two sons," Smith said. "I've coached in many different places and in some heated rivalries. You hear many different things. Unless it's something very derogatory or very direct or they're right up on top of you, I try to tune most of it out."
That can be difficult for some players. Self said it's a hard rule in his program.
"The whole thing is you don't communicate with fans," he said. "It's water off your back. Don't communicate in any way shape or form."
Team of the week: SMU. The Mustangs had not defeated a ranked opponent since 2003 until beating three Top 25 teams in seven games, most recently downing then-No. 7 Cincinnati 76-55 last week. The last time they beat more than one ranked opponent was 1984-85. Anyone questioning Larry Brown's decision to coach the college ranks again? SMU is back in the Associated Press poll for the first time in nearly three decades.
Player of the week: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State. The senior forward scored 48 points with 18 rebounds to beat TCU. And that wasn't even the triple-overtime game he played this week. Ejim, who is averaging 19.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, also recorded 22 points with 13 rebounds to beat Oklahoma State earlier in the week. He has posted three straight double-doubles.
Saturday: Florida at Kentucky, 8 p.m., ESPN. The Wildcats are trying to inch closer to the Gators in the SEC standings. Kentucky is starting to jell, while Florida's momentum has carried them to a 15-game winning streak.