Michelle Smith Feature: Utah's Megan Huff garnering a lot of attention on the country
Megan Huff said she was prepared for the load she was going to carry for Utah this season.
“Coach (Lynne) Roberts got me ready starting last year, always telling me to score, not to be passive, so I feel like I developed into this,” Huff said. “None of this is a surprise to me.”
A year ago, Huff was playing a largely complementary role to the Utes’ star player Emily Potter, but it was Huff who finished the 2017-18 season as Utah’s leading scorer at 14.7 points per game.
Huff has raised her game even further in her senior season. The fifth-year senior from Federal Way, Washington, who transferred to Utah from Hawai'i in 2016, won the first Pac-12 Player of the Week award of her career this week and is currently ranked fifth in the conference in scoring at 20.6 points a game. Huff, and the addition of some strong young talent, has propelled Utah to an 8-0 record in non-conference play with the Pac-12 schedule looming.
“She really is so good,” said Roberts of her 6-foot-3 center. “Last year, she was Robin to Batman with Potter, but this year, she is definitely Batman for us. People are going to see how good she really is.”
Huff is making it hard to miss. Huff, who was the two-time Big West Sixth Player of the Year as a freshman and sophomore at Hawai'i, had a career-best night against BYU late last week, putting up 28 points with eight rebounds. She scored 24 of her 28 points in the second half. It was her fifth 20-point outing of the season, including three straight games.
Huff said she prepared for her final collegiate season by working with a skills trainer over the summer, improving her ball-handling, her shooting and footwork. She wanted to develop her outside game, and change her role as a back-to-the-basket big.
“I wanted to be more comfortable with the ball and I put in the work,” Huff said.
Huff said she was inspired by the trust of her teammates and her coaches.
“For me, it’s an opportunity, not a source of pressure,” Huff said.
Still, she said she is not comfortable being the center of attention off the court.
“I don’t mind it on the court, but off the court, I prefer to be in the background,” Huff said.
Her play of late makes that difficult.
“She’s not a grab-you-by-the-shirt kid, but she is the type who you will see at the gym at 10:30 at night getting shots up,” Roberts said. “Literally, she just works at her game and that’s her passion. Our team doesn’t have a lot of alphas. Ask me in March if that’s a good thing for our team. She is not that alpha personality. But she looks like a pro player, with her build, her strength and her endurance. A lot of people don’t have anyone who can guard her one-on-one.”
Huff said she is just enjoying her final season with her teammates and the freshmen - including guard Dru Glyten - who have come on board to set the course for the future.
“We are so excited when anyone has a good night,” Huff said. “It’s fun to be around unselfish people who genuinely care about each other.”
And when the bat signal goes up, she is ready to be a hero.