Bob Huggins has made it clear that he will not reach out and try to poach players from other coaches. Although doing so is a big part of today’s college basketball climate, Huggins has a moral dilemma when it comes to this. He is old school and actively pursuing another program’s player seems to cross a line that Huggins doesn’t want to cross.
Bob Huggins is extremely happy with his current team and doesn’t feel like he needs to use his final available scholarship unless the perfect player comes along. Not just the ideal player on the court but also in the locker room. West Virginia’s current players really like each other and get along really well on and off the court. Huggins is hesitant to disrupt this cohesiveness that is so important for on-court success.
With that said, there have been several outstanding players who have entered the transfer portal this offseason and West Virginia would have likely had a real chance at many of them if Huggins decided to pursue them. While it’s admirable for Huggins to stick to his own personal ethics on this matter, it’s ultimately probably not what’s best for the team. Sometimes there are players simply too good to pass on.
Enter Olivier Sarr. Sarr, a 7 foot native of France, decided to enter the transfer portal after Wake Forest Head Coach Danny Manning was fired. Sarr, who earned third team all ACC honors last season while averaging 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds a game for the Demon Deacons last season, would be an outstanding addition to an already imposing front court for the Mountaineers.
While it’s assumed that West Virginia would like to add one more scoring guard to next season’s roster, the Mountaineers are already set with Miles McBride, Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil returning and JUCO stud Kedrian Johnson joining the team.
Sarr would add even more depth to West Virginia’s interior game and the Mountaineers give Sarr as good of a chance of winning a national championship as any team in the country next season.
Whether Huggins ultimately decides to pursue another big or a scoring wing, it’s important that he plays the transfer game the way that every other coach in the country is playing. Any and every talented player that becomes available should be pursued by Huggins and staff in order to make the team as deep and talented as possible.
Coach Huggins, it isn’t 1990 any longer. It’s 2020 and the rules have changed. Every opportunity to improve the team should be explored to the fullest extent. Go after Olivier Sarr and every other outstanding talent that becomes available.