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Strange but true: A Bob Huggins team is thriving in the classroom

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Bob Huggins endured plenty of criticism during his 16 years at Cincinnati because of the program's substandard graduation rate, so it might be surprising to find out how well his West Virginia team did academically last season.

Not only were the Mountaineers the lone Big East team to make the Final Four last season, they also had the highest collective GPA of any men's basketball team in the conference.

Seniors Da'Sean Butler and Wellington Smith both earned their degrees, as did Jonnie West, who is forgoing his final year of eligibility. Furthermore, seniors-to-be Joe Mazzula and Cam Thouroughman have both received their diplomas and are already enrolled in grad school.

Those achievements are in stark contrast to Huggins' academic reputation from his tenure at Cincinnati. According to the Washington Post, only 27 of the 95 players in Huggins' program graduated and four of those Bearcats teams famously had zero percent graduation rates.

Huggins always defended himself against those allegations by saying that the NCAA's metric for measuring graduation rates was flawed. There's some truth to that argument, yet it rang hollow after years and years of classroom woes.

We were quick to criticize Huggins for his academic failures at Cincinnati. Therefore we should also praise him for his success at West Virginia.

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