Jalen Bridges Enters NBA Draft, Thanks Bob Huggins

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Fairmont, West Virginia native and former WVU basketball player, Jalen Bridges, announced today that he is entering the 2024 NBA Draft. Bridges, a 6'9 senior, had one year of eligibility remaining, but believes that now is the right time to take the next step to attempt to play professionally. Bridges played his first two seasons at West Virginia University before transferring to Baylor. At Baylor this past season, he had the best year of his career, averaging 12.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 41.2% from three point range. In his social media message today, Bridges had the following to say: "First and foremost, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with the ability to play the game I love. I want to thank my family and friends for always being there for me, through it all. I want to thank Coach Drew and the entire coaching staff, my teammates, and all of the Baylor fans for their support throughout my time in Waco. I also would like to thank Coach Huggins, his former staff staff and my teammates at West Virginia. I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to build relationships that I'll cherish forever and for such an amazing program. It's truly amazing how this ball can take you places you've literally dreamed of and place people in your life to guide and shape you along your journey. After much prayer and consideration, I'm blessed to announce that I have decided to enter my name into the 2024 NBA Draft. I look forward to what the future holds for me. Thank you all for your continued love and support." https://twitter.com/jbizzz11e/status/1782491874613252177

West Virginia’s Next Big Target

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Darian DeVries and his coaching staff have been very active this weekend, landing two transfer targets from Illinios, Sencire Harris and Amani Hansberry. The addition of Harris and Hansberry, the Mountaineers now have Tucker DeVries, Noah Farrakhan, Sencire Harris, Amani Hansbery, Ofri Naveh, Aden Tagaloa-Nelson and KJ Tenner on the roster. Only DeVries, Harris, Naveh, Tenner and Hansberry are expected to remain with the team, however. With that said, head coach Darian DeVries and his staff have a lot of work to do before the start of next season. One player who has become a quick top target since entering the transfer portal today is Felix Okpara. Okpara, a 6'11 center from Lagos, Nigeria, averaged 6.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 block shots per game while shooting 58.6% from the field for the Ohio State Buckeyes last season. On April 1st, Okpara announced on social media to say, "I'm excited and grateful to announce that I am 100% committed to running it back with OSU and Buckeye Nation!" However, Ohio State added former Kentucky center Aaron Bradshaw last week, which led Okpara to decide to leave the program. Today, Okpara made the following announcment: "Thank you Buckeye Nation for two amazing years," he wrote in a post to Instagram. "Thank you for embracing me and supporting me through the ups and downs. ... I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have represented the Scarlet and Gray. As I thought of the player I want to become and the program moving forward in a new direction, I believe it is in my best interest to continue my pursuit of my dream at a different school." Since entering the portal earlier, new WVU commit Sencire Harris followed him on Instagram, and Okpara followed him back. While this may seem like a small, insignificant detail, a lot of what happens behind the scenes happens on social media, particularly with college athletes. Okpara has not followed anyone else since entering the portal, so it's very possible that he intends to come to West Virginia. A four star prospect after his senior season at Branson Missouri Link Academy, Okpara came to Ohio State as the #74 national recruit and the #15 center in the 2022 class according to 247Sports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8bZZmnFlo4

Amani Hansberry Commits to West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Although very little information has leaked out since Darian DeVries took over as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, big things are happening behind closed doors. Earlier in the week, former Illinois assistant coach Chester Frazier as the new associate head coach of the Mountaineers, and now, Frazier’s former players are starting to follow him to Morgantown. Moments ago, it was revealed that Amani Hansberry had committed to play for the Mountaineers! Hansberry,  a 6'8 forward from Baltimore, Maryland, is also a former four star recruit and was the 2023 Maryland Player of the Year. He averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game as a freshman in limited minutes last season, but he has huge upside and could potentially develop into a star player at West Virginia. According to 247's Director of Scouting, Adam Finklestein, "Hansberry has some of the best hands in high school basketball, excellent footwork, and a very high acumen for the game. While he doesn’t have elite size or explosiveness, he’s versatile and able to impact winning in a variety of ways. He’s a scoring threat with both hands around the rim, poised in the post, crafty with his use of fakes, able to create space with his broad shoulders, and a very good passer from multiple spots on the floor. Simultaneously, he’s a reliable free-throw shooter and continuing to expand his face-up game, without sacrificing his efficiency. He’s a high-volume rebounder, able to win 50-50 balls because of his length and hands, and in all the right spots on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he’s sometimes best as a five, but doesn’t project as much of a rim protecting presence at the next level." Earlier today, his teammate at Illiniois, Sencire Harris, also committed to play for the Mountaineers. With the addition of Harris and Hansberry, the Mountaineers now have  Tucker DeVries, Noah Farrakhan, Sencire Harris, Amani Hansbery, Ofri Naveh, Aden Tagaloa-Nelson and KJ Tenner on the roster. Only DeVries, Harris, Naveh and Hansberry are expected to remain with the team, however. With that said, head coach Darian DeVries and his staff have a lot of work to do before the start of next season! https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1782113701698424930

Sencire Harris Commits to West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — The West Virginia basketball program hosted two former Illinois players, and moments ago, four star recruit Sencire Harris announced that he’s committing to play for the Mountaineers next season. Harris, a 6'3 guard from Akron, Ohio, is known for his energy and effort defensively, and was ranked as high as the #62 prospect in the nation out of high school across different media outlets. As a freshman at Illinois, Harris averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, and then redshirted last season.New associate head coach Chester Frazier is responsible for bringing Harris to Morgantown. According to 247's Director of Scouting Adam Finkelstein, "Hansberry has some of the best hands in high school basketball, excellent footwork, and a very high acumen for the game. While he doesn’t have elite size or explosiveness, he’s versatile and able to impact winning in a variety of ways. He’s a scoring threat with both hands around the rim, poised in the post, crafty with his use of fakes, able to create space with his broad shoulders, and a very good passer from multiple spots on the floor. Simultaneously, he’s a reliable free-throw shooter and continuing to expand his face-up game, without sacrificing his efficiency. He’s a high-volume rebounder, able to win 50-50 balls because of his length and hands, and in all the right spots on both ends of the floor." Harris will likely be in the starting lineup for the Mountaineers on the completely revamped roster under new head coach Darian DeVries. https://twitter.com/sencireh/status/1782111347871740252?s=46  

Tony Caridi Hints That Only One Player Will Remain From Last Year’s Basketball Team

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Several of the players on last year's basketball team have decided to move on over the last couple of weeks, including Kerr Kriisa, Seth Wilson, Kobe Johnson, Ali Ragab and Jeremiah Bembry, leaving only Noah Farrakhan and Ofri Naveh from last year's roster. Tonight on Sportsline, WVU commentator Tony Caridi hinted that that could soon change. "Two players from last year’s team remain, Noah Farrakhan and Ofri Naveh," Caridi said. "It’s not done yet, but there’s probably going to be one more gone, so I think the last man standing will be Ofri Naveh. All indications are he’ll be the last man standing." Caridi went on to say, "I hope Naveh does stay. I hope as time goes on, as he plays here for his entire eligibility, that he has a really good career. It would be really neat, like last man standing. We'll always remember that he was the one guy, the one guy that hung in there. So it looks like so far that Ofri is in and in all likelihood that Noah Farrakhan will be in the portal." Naveh, a 6'6 freshman from Israel, averaged 2.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in limited time last season for the Mountaineers. Naveh started 7 games at the beginning of the season, but his court time decreased as the season went on and other players were eligible to play. Farrakahan, a 6'1 senior, had an up-and-down season in his only year with West Virginia, averaging 7.0 points 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Farrakhan is an exceptional offensive talent and will almost certainly find a new home to finish his college career quickly. https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1781106495611982188

Sencire Harris and Amani Hansberry Visiting WVU This Weekend

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Although very little information has leaked out since Darian DeVries took over as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, big things are happening behind closed doors. Earlier in the week, former Illinois assistant coach Chester Frazier as the new associate head coach of the Mountaineers. Frazier, considered one of the nation's top young coaches and recruiters, already has multiple players on his radar, including at least a couple of his former players at Illinois. According to Fox Illinois & News Channel 20 Sports Director Dante J Furco, two players who recently entered the transfer portal from Illinois will be in Morgantown on an official visit at WVU this weekend. "Hearing from Morgantown, that former Illinois guard Sencire Harris will take an official visit to West Virginia this weekend. As I reported on Monday, West Virginia is #1 on Harris' list, given their recent addition of former Illinois' assistant coach Chester Frazier." https://twitter.com/DanteFurco/status/1780775065103007894 Later, Furco said that Harris' teammate Amani Hansberry will join him for his trip to Morgantown. "I'm told that former Illinois big man Amani Hansberry will take an official visit to West Virginia later on this weekend. Amani Hansberry was originally recruited to Illinois by now West Virginia associate head coach Chester Frazier." https://twitter.com/DanteFurco/status/1780997793957462022 Harris, a 6'3 guard from Akron, Ohio, entered the transfer portal after news of Frazier leaving for West Virginia started to come out. Harris was a four star recruit and ranked as the #62 player in the nation out of high school. As a freshman at Illinios two years ago, he averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, and then redshirted last season. He's considered an elite defender and has a developing offensive game. Hansberry,  a 6'8 forward from Baltimore, Maryland, is also a former four star recruit who has a tremendous relationship with Frazier. He was the 2023 Maryland Player of the Year. He averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game as a freshman in limited minutes last season, but he has huge upside and could potentially develop into a star player at West Virginia. In addition to Harris and Hansberry, there are rumored to be at least two other players scheduled to be on the WVU campus this weekend for visits. Although there has been very little news to report in terms of the West Virginia roster since DeVries became the head coach, this could be a potentially huge weekend for the future of the basketball program!  

Ali Ragab Has Entered the Transfer Portal

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Moments ago, Ali Ragab informed The Voice of Morgantown that he's entering the transfer portal. "I spoke with Coach (DeVries) this morning and I decided to enter the portal," Ragab told VOM. Ragab, a 7'0 center from Cairo, Egypt, transferred to West Virginia last season from Gannon University. At Gannon, he averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. While at West Virginia, he did not receive any minutes on the court during the season and so he did not have any official statistics for the Mountaineers. Ragab has not discussed his potential future plans in detail, but he will attempt to finish out his collegiate career at a program at a lower level.

Kobe Johnson Enters the Transfer Portal

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Earlier today, West Virginia guard Jeremiah Bembry entered the transfer portal. Over the last couple of weeks, Kerr Kriisa, Pat Suemnick and Seth Wilson also left the Mountaineers' basketball program following Darian DeVries' hiring as head coach. Now, moments ago, long-time WVU player Kobe Johnson also made the decision to leave the program and enter the transfer portal, according to Portal Updates. Johnson, a 6'3 guard from Canton, Ohio, averaged 6.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while starting 26 out of 31 games for the Mountaineers last season. Johnson was named the Ohio Division I Player of the Year by the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association as a senior in high school, averaging 20.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. https://twitter.com/portal_updates/status/1780664161422180520

Jeremiah Bembry Enters the Transfer Portal

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- The West Virginia Mountaineers' basketball program is going to look a lot different next season! Kerr Kriisa, Pat Suemnick and Seth Wilson have already entered the transfer portal, and moments ago, Verbal Commits confirmed that Jeremiah Bembry will also leave the program and enter the portal. Bembry, a 6'5 guard from Bronx, New York, only played in 8 games last season, averaging 0.0 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game for the Mountaineers last season. Bembry transferred to West Virginia prior to last season from Florida State, but was unable to get many minutes in his one season with the program. https://twitter.com/VerbalCommits/status/1780642478250717634 https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1780643488628941109  

Kory Barnett Hired at West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Darian DeVries has been on the job as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers and very few details have leaked out about what he's doing behind closed doors to assemble his roster and coaching staff. Over the last couple of weeks, it was revealed that Nick Norton (who came from Drake with DeVries) will serve as an assistant coach/director of player development, Nelson Hernandez (who previously worked at Oklahoma State) will be the director of player personnel/recruiting and most recently, that former Illinois assistant coach Chester Frazier will be the Associate Head Coach of the Mountaineers. Now, according to Jeff Goodman, Kory Barnett will join the staff as well. Barnett, who just finished his 4th season as an assistant at Nevada, spent 6 seasons under Steve Alford at UCLA before that. According to his bio at Nevada, "Primarily focusing on Nevada’s defense, Barnett has helped the Pack reach exceptional heights on the defensive side of the court throughout the 2022-23 season. Nevada consistently ranked within the top-five of the Mountain West in numerous defensive statistical categories during the entire season." Barnett graduated from Indiana, where he earned his degree in sports communication in 2012. The Rochester, Indiana native and his wife Sarah have two sons, Brooks and Blake. https://twitter.com/GoodmanHoops/status/1780600872851960201 In addition, it was announced by Jeff Goodman that Trent Michaels will remain on staff as the Director of Basketball Operations with the team. There are still two remaining assistant positions available on the staff. Names that have been been mentioned include former WVU players Da'Sean Butler and Darris Nichols, as well as Akron assistant Rob Fulford.

Chester Frazier Bringing Big Things to West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Although no official announcement has come from West Virginia University about his hiring yet, Chester Frazier took to social media late Wednesday night to announce that he has arrived in Morgantown as the new associate head coach of the Mountaineers! Frazier, 38, was an assistant at Illinois and a former starting point guard for the Fighting Illini, and he will now be the top assistant at West Virginia. Illinois head coach Brad Underwood revealed that Frazier was headed to WVU during a press conference yesterday, saying, "I'm excited for him. He came here wanting to win championships because he didn't as a player, and he came away with two. I'm excited his path as associate head coach is the next step. Excited it puts him back in a vicinity where his name recognition will really I think pay off for him in his desire to be a head coach. He was fantastic and wish him nothing but the best." Then, late last night, Frazier posted a picture of himself with new head coach Darian DeVries with the caption, "Sidney Dean and Billy Hoyle, you ready Coach Devries? - let's go get em!!!" The Sidney Dean and Billy Hoyle reference was from the 1992 film "White Men Can't Jump." https://twitter.com/WVUCoachFrazier/status/1780454166332162479 Frazier is considered a top recruiter and one of the best young coaches in the nation. Rumors have already leaked out about him potentially bringing multiple players with him from Illinois to West Virginia, including former four star recruits Sencire Harris and Amani Hansberry. Harris, a 6'3 guard from Akron, Ohio, entered the transfer portal after news of Frazier leaving for West Virginia started to come out. Harris was a four star recruit and ranked as the #62 player in the nation out of high school. As a freshman at Illinios two years ago, he averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, and then redshirted last season. He's considered an elite defender and has a developing offensive game. Hansberry,  a 6'8 forward from Baltimore, Maryland, is also a former four star recruit who has a tremendous relationship with Frazier. He was the 2023 Maryland Player of the Year. He averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game as a freshman in limited minutes last season, but he has huge upside and could potentially develop into a star player at West Virginia. In addition, it appears that Kaden Magwood, a 6'3 point guard from Mouth of Wilson, Virginia in the 2025 class, could also follow Frazier to West Virginia. Magwood was previously linked to Illinois, but Frazier was his lead recruiter there and Magwood de-committed when the Frazier news leaked. West Virginia offered him on April 13 and it's very likely that he commits soon.

Four Star Sencire Harris Expected to Join Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Earlier today, former four star recruit Sencire Harris announced that he was leaving the Illinois basketball program and entering the transfer portal. Harris, a 6'3 guard from Akron, Ohio, is known for his energy and effort defensively, and was ranked as high as the #62 prospect in the nation out of high school across different media outlets. As a freshman at Illinois, Harris averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, and then redshirted last season with a knee injury. Now, Illinois assistant Chester Frazier on his way to Morgantown, Harris is expected to follow him to play for the Mountaineers. According to Fox Illinois & News Channel 20 Sports Director Dante Furco, Harris is believed to be headed to West Virginia. "I'm told that Harris was truly committed to staying, but Chester Frazier's departure led to a change in mind. He has a great relationship with Frazier." https://twitter.com/DanteFurco/status/1779871008821854229 Although Chester Frazier hasn't formally been announced as the new assistant coach at West Virginia, he is reportedly working behind the scenes and is expected to bring at least a couple of players from Illinois with him. In addition to Sencire Harris, former four star Amani Hansberry is also a player to watch to make the move to WVU. Hansberry, a 6'8 forward from Baltimore, Maryland, is also a former four star recruit who has a tremendous relationship with Frazier. He was the 2023 Maryland Player of the Year. He averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game as a freshman in limited minutes last season, but he has huge upside and could potentially develop into a star player at West Virginia. According to 247's Director of Scouting Adam Finkelstein, "Hansberry has some of the best hands in high school basketball, excellent footwork, and a very high acumen for the game. While he doesn’t have elite size or explosiveness, he’s versatile and able to impact winning in a variety of ways. He’s a scoring threat with both hands around the rim, poised in the post, crafty with his use of fakes, able to create space with his broad shoulders, and a very good passer from multiple spots on the floor. Simultaneously, he’s a reliable free-throw shooter and continuing to expand his face-up game, without sacrificing his efficiency. He’s a high-volume rebounder, able to win 50-50 balls because of his length and hands, and in all the right spots on both ends of the floor." With Frazier likely bringing at least two possible starters with him when he's officially announced as West Virginia's top assistant coach, the Mountaineers are on their way to putting together an outstanding starting lineup for the 2024-2025 season. https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1779135876620009873

Josiah Harris FInds New Home

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Former West Virginia forward Josiah Harris has found a new home. Harris, a 6'7 sophomore from Canton, Ohio, has chosen to play at Akron. Harris averaged 5.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season for the Mountaineers and will join two other former West Virginia players, Seth Wilson and James Okonkwo, at Akron. Both Wilson and Okonkwo announced that they have committed to play there a few days ago. https://twitter.com/jeffborzello/status/1779947908349182340 Here is what Harris had to say to Mountaineer Nation when he departed West Virginia: “Dear Mountaineer Family, I am referring to you as family because that is what you are. When I left my family in Ohio two years ago it was difficult, but knew that the departure would not be forever and that it was necessary in order to grow from a boy to a man. That is what West Virginia has done for me. I walked through the doors as a boy, and I am both saddened and proud to say that i must leave you a man, but a man who is truly blessed. Blessed to not only have a Bachelor's degree, but in May, a Master's degree that will be permanently engraved with the West Virginia University insignia.“  

Seth Wilson and James Okonkwo Commit to Akron

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Moments ago, it was announced that former West Virginia players Seth Wilson and James Okonkwo have found a new home! According to multiple sources, both Wilson and Okonkwo have committed to play at Akron.  Wilson, a 6'2 junior from Lorain, Ohio, averaged 3.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 17.0 minutes per game for the Mountaineers last season. Wilson also shot 37.9% from three point range and provided great energy off the bench for West Virginia as a junior. Okonkwo, a 6'8 junior from England, showed moments of brilliance at West Virginia, particularly on the defensive end, but transferred to North Carolina last season and only averaged 1.0 point and 1.0 rebound per game in very few minutes for the Tar Heels. Wilson also played well at times, but he only has one year of eligibility remaining and reportedly wanted more playing time in his final year of eligiblity, so he entered the transfer portal last week. In his farewell message to Mountaineer Nation, Wilson said, "It is with a heavy heart that I write this. I want to say that it has been a blessing to represent this great University and state. I want to thank all of my coaches, advisors, supporters, and fans over these past three years." Best of luck to both Wilson and Okonkwo! Once a Mountaineer, Always a Mountaineer! https://twitter.com/GoodmanHoops/status/1779298272437321759

Nelson Hernandez Hired as WVU General Manager

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Moments ago, it was revealed  by Jon Rothstein that Darian DeVries is hiring Nelson Hernandez as the General Manager of the men's basketball program. Hernandez was Director of Player Development at Oklahoma State last year under Mike Boynton. Hernandez was an assistant coach at Fresno State during the 2022-23 season and has more than a decade of Division I experience on his resume, having also served as video coordinator at Utah State (2010-14) and Clemson (2014-15), director of player development at Wright State (2015-16) and director of basketball operations for both VCU (2016-17) and LSU (2017-22). The Brooklyn native completed his bachelor’s degree at Utah State in 2013 and added a Master of Education in 2018. This is the role that Jay Kuntz held at West Virginia over the last couple of seasons under Bob Huggins and Josh Eilert. https://twitter.com/JonRothstein/status/1779148540687647106