Nobody can accuse HCBS of being cocky or overly intimidating on the sidelines. One thing you can start to associate with him these days, however, is swagger. Don't believe me? Watch his new attitude on the sidelines and listen to how he handles criticism during a press conference and his call-in show.
Last year he was all over the map both on the sidelines and behind the podium at press time. He fiddled with headsets, closed his eyes and wanted to lubricate the world. This year, it is a completely different story.
HCBS's sideline behavior, so far this year, reminds me more of Pete Carroll than Carol Burnett. He is up and down the sidelines congratulating and scolding players for their play on the field. He is constantly in the officials ears (anyone at the first half of the Marshall game saw it firsthand), lobbying for calls, and letting them know when the screwed up. He is also showing a confidence that we did not see last year. You know, all the things that a coach is supposed to do.
He is also showing a little moxy in his public relations. On Wednesday's Statewide Sportsline, HCBS took a lot of rediculous criticism and started to get a little testy. Instead of allowing callers to show their stupidity, he fought back with facts and verbal jabs.
My favorite example, was the caller that praised Frank Beamer for a couple minutes and then asked HCBS why we didn't play like VT. The following exchange then occurred:
- HCBS, "Are you a season ticket holder at Tech?"
- Caller, "Not this year."
- HCBS, "Well, I bet they would give you a pretty good deal on tickets. You should probably look into that."
BAZINGA! Keep in mind, that comment was made before VT soiled its sheets against UNC last night.
Whether it is just the sweater vest or taking the attitude of his players, HCBS is developing a little swagger. And in my mind, that can only mean good things for the Mountaineers.