Wednesday, March 22, 2023

West Virginia University Charging Outrageous Prices for Cardboard Cutouts

Morgantown, West Virginia - When the West Virginia Mountaineers play their home opener tomorrow afternoon against North Texas, some fans will have paid $125 to have a cutout of themselves in attendance for the game. Instead of charging a reasonable rate for a piece of cardboard, West Virginia University decided to make cutouts in the upper level $40, $60 for lower bowl baseline cutouts and a whooping $125 for lower sideline behind scorer's table cutouts. According to the website, "We are all excited that West Virginia basketball is back! Since a lot of fans may not be able to make it to games at the Coliseum this season, we are offering a way to still give our fans a chance to be there in person (well, sort of) and spirit, supporting the Mountaineers!" However, recent photos of the Coliseum reveal that not-surprisingly not many people purchased the overpriced cutouts.  Instead, there is only a smattering of cutouts spread throughout the Coliseum. Why wouldn't West Virginia University offer these cutouts at a more reasonable price so that West Virginians could afford it and so that it wouldn't ridiculous on television?  At its current state, the cutouts look embarrassing and unfortunate. There's simply no way that WVU can rationalize the price of cardboard with a photo on it.  Instead of price gouging the people of our great state, it would have been far better to fill up the Coliseum seats by offering the cutouts at a more reasonable price.

Decision on Jose Perez Announced

Morgantown, West Virginia - Moments ago, the NCAA announced that Jose Perez will be not eligible to play for the Mountaineers this season. West Virginia appealed the NCAA’s initial decision for eligibility but the appeal has been denied.  Instead, Perez will have to sit out this season and will be eligible to play next year. Perez, the 6'5 guard from Manhattan, where he was chosen as the preseason Player of the Year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. He averaged 18.9 points, 4.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds last season, and would have provided an immediate scoring punch for the Mountaineers. Perez responded to the decision by saying, “(I’m” literally broken into pieces.” West Virginia hosts Baylor tonight at 7:00PM at the WVU Coliseum.

BREAKING: Transfer Forward Cleared for 2021-2022 Season

Morgantown, West Virginia – Former DePaul standout Pauly Paulicap has officially been cleared to play the 2021-2022 season for the West Virginia Mountaineers! Paulicap, a former MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 10.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while at Manhattan during the 2019-2020 season, and then averaged 7.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game last season with DePaul. Huggins is clearly prioritizing defense in the offseason, and Paulicap was one of the best available defensive prospects in the transfer portal. Paulicap, a 6’8 forward originally from Elmont, New York, is an extremely high-energy player that will provide an immediate boost to the Mountaineers’ porous interior defense. With the return of Gabe Osabuohien and Huggins landing out the most most impactful defensive players available, look for West Virginia’s top weakness last season to actually become a strength next season. Paulicap is a graduate transfer and has one year of eligibility remaining.

ANOTHER West Virginia Player Enters the Transfer Portal

Morgantown, West Virginia - Moments ago, it was announced via Rivals Hoops that Emmitt Matthews, Jr. has entered the transfer portal! Matthews joins Jordan McCabe a day after he entered the portal.  Matthews, a junior, averaged 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game for the Mountaineers last season.

WVU Coaches Celebrate NBA Draft with Miles McBride

Morgantown, West Virginia - Bob Huggins and his assistant coaches Erik Martin and Ron Everhart will be with Miles "Deuce" McBride during the 2021 NBA Draft tonight! McBride's watch party will take place at Moeller High, the high school he attended in Cincinnati, Ohio before coming to West Virginia University. Huggins said the following on his official social media accounts: "So proud of you, Deuce.  Happy we could be here celebrating today with you." McBride, who averaged 15.8 points, 4.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game last season for the Mountaineers, is considered anywhere from a mid first round or early second round pick in the tonight's draft. The 2021 NBA Draft will be shown live on ESPN and ABC tonight at 8:00 from Brooklyn, New York.

Jevon Carter Gives His Thoughts on the Mountaineers

Morgantown, West Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers have played extremely hard in the first half against the #4 ranked Texas Longhorns, and former West Virginia player turned NBA star Jevon Carter has been watching along with the rest of Mountaineer Nation. Carter, who is currently averaging 2.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game for the 6-3 Phoenix Suns, said the following during the first half of the Mountaineers' game today: "This West Virginia team continues to make me proud.  Hold it down fellas." Although the Mountaineers are down two big players - Isaiah Cottrell to a season-ending ACL injury and Oscar Tshiebwe to the transfer portal - the team has stepped it up and given tremendous effort in the first half of this game and the second half of last game against Oklahoma State, where they stormed back from 18 points down to beat the Cowboys in the second half. Jevon Carter is known for being one of the fiercest competitors in all of basketball and this West Virginia team has earned his attention with their continued hard work.  Let's hope that the Mountaineers can finish the Longhorns off for a huge win in the second half!  With a road game against the #2 Baylor Bears upcoming, West Virginia will need every home win it can get!

New Starting Lineup Revealed

Head Coach Bob Huggins promised major changes in his starting lineup and he has delivered for the Mountaineers game tonight against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  Check out the new lineup below:  

Bob Huggins to be an Analyst During NCAA Tournament

Morgantown, West Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers will not compete in any postgame tournaments this season, but Bob Huggins will remain active during the NCAA Tournament. Huggins will serve as a guest studio analysts for the NCAA Tournament on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Huggins will be a guest analyst today and tomorrow, March 19th and 20th. Coverage starts at noon today. This is going to be must-see TV!

WATCH: Miles McBride’s Dunk of the Year

Morgantown, West Virginia - Former West Virginia Mountaineers star guard Miles "Deuce" McBride has been bouncing back and forth between playing for the New York Knicks in the NBA and the Knicks' G League team, the Westchester Knicks. Tonight, McBride is playing in the G League and he's once again been sensational.  Deuce finished tonight's game with 28 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in a loss to the Celtics' G League tea. McBride also had one of the most impressive dunks you'll see this year.  Check it out below:    

West Virginia Guard Named Big 12 Player of the Week

Morgantown, West Virginia - West Virginia senior guard Taz Sherman had a big week, scoring a career-high 27 points in the 1st round of the Charleston Classic against Elon. Sherman averaged 20 points per game in the tournament where the Mountaineers finished 2-1 and in 3rd place. Moments ago, Sherman was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week! On the season, Sherman averages 19.0 points, 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game for the 4-1 Mountaineers.

Bob Huggins Upbeat Following 12th Straight Conference Road Loss

Morgantown, West Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers (10-7, 0-5) suffered their 5th consecutive loss and 12th straight conference loss on the road, falling to the Oklahoma Sooners, 77-76. Here's what Bob Huggins had to say following the game: "Our guys competed. That was a poor shot by Erik (Stevenson) and we didn't need a poor shot. The deal is if you don't have a good shot, you don't take it. On free throw shooting: "I don't know what to say and I don't know what to do. I don't know what you do. I make them make 100 free throws before they leave the gym. Not shoot 100. Make 100. In practice, if you miss them, you run, but that's hard to do at this time at the year." On Joe Toussaint: "He's been terrific. Can't say enough about him. Great teammate. Terrific teammate." Where do you go from here?: "Back to the hotel because the plane is broken down. We're getting closer. We're not the worst team in the league by a long shot. A lot of things have happened. We'll continue to get better. I think what a lot of people don't understand is that we have such a mix of players. That's the position they've put us in. It's really messed up our game. Quite frankly, I didn't understand how to deal with it, but I think we came out okay. For all the doubters, we're going to be a good team." Upcoming game: "We have a good team (TCU) coming into the Coliseum on Wednesday. Hopefully we have a good crowd and the good people of West Virginia come out and support this turnaround that we're going to have."

Jordan McCabe needs to have this conversation with Bob Huggins

Morgantown, West Virginia - Jordan McCabe is a virtuoso, a flashy on-court maestro with the basketball, who needs freedom to make mistakes to perform to the best of his abilities. Bob Huggins is an old-school, gritty, tough coach that doesn't like or appreciate flashiness or dazzling playmakers.  He'd rather a player make the easy, sure pass than the no-look or behind the back one. This is where the conflict between Jordan McCabe and Bob Huggins starts.  McCabe needs freedom and Bob Huggins does not want his players to have freedom to make mistakes on the court. With this said, Huggins knew what he was getting with McCabe when he recruited him out of high school.  McCabe traveled with the Harlem Globetrotters and performed halftime dribbling exhibitions.  High school footage of McCabe shows that he liked to dribble...a lot and he liked to make fancy passes. McCabe has done what he can to adjust to Huggins' style.  He is the first player in the gym and the last to leave.  He has calmed down on the showmanship on the court and ran Huggins' offense.  However, McCabe's lack of size, athleticism and speed makes him ineffective if he can't use his natural ability to dribble and make difficult passes. Again, this is where the problem lies.  Either Bob Huggins needs to let Jordan McCabe be Jordan McCabe, or Jordan McCabe is not going to be a productive college basketball player. At the end of McCabe's freshman season, a severely-depleted WVU team went 2-2 to close out the season and 2-1 in the Big 12 Tournament, beating Iowa State, Oklahoma and eventual National Championship-bound Texas Tech along the way.  McCabe averaged 13.5 points, 5 assists and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 35% from three point range during the last 10 games.  This is what McCabe is capable of when given the freedom to be himself. With Miles McBride excelling and JUCO stud Kedrian Johnson joining the Mountaineers next season, it's time that Jordan McCabe has a talk with Bob Huggins.  "Coach, what does my future here in Morgantown look like?  What do the final two years of my basketball life look like to you?  Am I going to play behind Miles and Kedrian, or am I going to be the leader of this team?  Will you allow me to be who I have always been on the court, or am I going to have to be a neutered version of myself to make you happy?" Jordan McCabe has worked really, really hard his entire life to become an outstanding basketball player.  With no prospects of playing professionally after graduation, he has two years left to play competitively.  Does he want to spend those final two years perpetually in Bob Huggins' dog house or does he want to go elsewhere to have some freedom to be the leader on the court that he knows he can be? I know what I would choose.

WVU Faces a Tough December

The Mountaineers did what they had to do in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, and are now sitting at 3-0 with another trophy in their case. Though there is reason to celebrate right now, the fun is really just starting for West Virginia. The Gold and Blue now turn the page to a difficult December ahead of them. To start things off with a bang, West Virginia goes right to the top and will play Gonzaga, who is the top ranked team in the nation. The Bulldogs are currently 2-0 on the season, winning both of their first two games handily - including a 102-90 win over fellow Big 12 member, the Kansas Jayhawks. West Virginia will then hit the road for their first true road game of the season to take on the Georgetown Hoyas. Though this isn’t your typical grandfather’s Georgetown squad, they always have talent, and this road trip will be tricky for the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers will finally get three winnable home games back-to-back-to-back against Robert Morris, Richmond, and Iowa State before their toughest road trip of the season. On December 22nd, West Virginia will travel to the Phog to take on the Kansas Jayhawks, a place they have yet to leave victorious since joining the Big 12. To close the month of December, West Virginia will host Buffalo on the 29th. The last time the Bulls visited Morgantown, they emerged with a 99-94 upset victory over the then 13th ranked Mountaineers. If West Virginia hopes to have a magical season, they have to navigate this rigorous early schedule. How they perform in the month of December will determine just if the championship hopes can be met in Morgantown this year.

West Virginia Finalists for 7’3 Talented Giant

Morgantown, West Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers' most obvious issues this season were a lack of a real rim protector and a dominant rebounder. That could come to an immediate end with the signing of 7'3 shot-blocking, rebounding sensation Bol Kuir. Kuir, who lives in Belfry, Kentucky, just across the West Virginia border, is originally from South Sudan, and averaged 14.0 points, a state-best 13.4 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game in his first ever season of high school basketball last year for Belfry. In one game last season, he finished with 25 points, 42 rebounds and 8 blocks.  In one game. Kuir received an offer from West Virginia University and the Mountaineers are at the very top of his list right now, according to his guardian.  Bob Huggins' team needs interior defensive help and Kuir is precisely the physically-imposing player that can step in and be a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball. Kuir attended a West Virginia basketball game this season and came away very impressed with the program. Moments ago, Kuir released his Top 5 programs and West Virginia made the list! The other finalists are DePaul, UNLV, Texas Tech and Providence. Although Kuir has flown relatively under the radar, he is an exceptional talent with guard skills and physically, he's one of the most impressive players in the nation. Check out his incredible highlights below:

Iowa State Account Makes Outrageous Claims About West Virginia After Loss

Morgantown, West Virginia - Following West Virginia's 76-71 victory over the #11 ranked Iowa State Cyclones, one Iowa State social media account made absolutely ridiculous, outrageous claims about the Mountaineers. Iowa State Nation, a fan account on Twitter, said the following: "I am tired of being West Virginia’s Super Bowl. This is the one game a year they always have circled on the calendar. While we're focused on winning championships, they are only focused on beating us. Oh and how much did you pay the referees? Just curious." There is a lot to unwrap here, but the entire post is clearly ridiculous. To begin, Iowa State is absolutely not West Virginia's "Super Bowl." In fact, this isn't even an opponent that is on the team's radar as a "big game." In the Big 12 Conference, Iowa State 8th or 9th in terms of teams that West Virginia is concentrated on defeating. West Virginia is certainly not "circling this game on the calendar" every year and the assertion that Iowa State is "focused on winning championships" while West Virginia is "only focused on beating Iowa State" is laughable. Finally, although the officiating was not great during last night's game, it was not heavily slanted towards either team. There was likely some home court favoritism at key moments, but ultimately West Virginia was the better team. Check out the full post below: The Mountaineers are back in action this Saturday, February 11th at noon at Texas. West Virginia will meet Iowa State again on the road on February 27th.