MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Former West Virginia starting center Jimmy Bell just entered the transfer portal today but is already receiving major interest from several teams. Bell, a 6’10 center from Saginaw, Michigan, averaged 4.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for the Mountaineers last season. Bell has already been in contact with several schools, including Mississippi State, Missouri, Old Dominion, Saint Louis, BYU, UCF, Temple, Georgia Southern, Austin Peay, UNC Wilmington, New Mexico State, Seton Hall, Jackson State and DePaul. With the addition of Jesse Edwards, as well as the return of James Okonkwo and Mohamed Wague, Bell became expendable on the West Virginia roster. https://twitter.com/theportalreport/status/1652065365596463106?s=46&t=USDKe35TLtcCPitgUlQ1PA
Morgantown, West Virginia - Avery Anderson is one of the most experienced, talented players available players in the transfer portal and could be a perfect fit for the Mountaineers if Caleb Grill doesn't work out. Anderson, a 6'3 guard who averaged 11.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game this past season for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, recently visited TCU, but intends to make several more visits before make his final decision. In an interview with 247 Sports' Brandon Jenkins, Anderson said the following about potentially visiting West Virginia: "It's funny that they have called because they feel I have always played well against them. They say that their gym is a home gym for me. It is a good opportunity because I would be playing for a Hall of Fame coach. They have an NBA staff and I would get better over there.” Two seasons ago, in both team's season finale, Anderson went off at the Coliseum, scoring a career-high 31 points on 11-14 from the field, 1-2 from three point range and 8-10 from the foul line. Anderson, a graduate transfer, has one year of eligibility remaining and although he has had numerous teams reaching out for his services, none are likely a better fit for him than West Virginia. The Mountaineers desperately need a score-first wing and he fits that mold perfectly. Anderson claims his decision will come down to the best fit for him as a basketball player. "I am trying to find the best basketball situation for me,” Anderson said. “I want to play for a coach who really understands me. I want to show all my ability for a team that fits my playing style.”
Morgantown, West Virginia - Mountaineer Nation loves Jevon Carter and Jevon Carter loves the fans of the West Virginia Mountaineers right back! Carter, the former West Virginia guard, is currently in Orlando, Florida preparing to finish his second professional season in the NBA Bubble. Carter now plays for the Phoenix Suns, and the NBA is set to start playing games without fans on July 30th. For now, teams are quarantined within a Walt Disney World property and practicing in preparation for the upcoming finish to the season. In other words, NBA players have a lot of free time right now, and Carter took a few moments to think back on his time at West Virginia University. Carter posted the following message on his Instagram account: "Flashback Friday. Sitting in this hotel room got me missing the old days. Mountaineer Nation and the whole entire state of West Virginia, I love you guys dearly and thanks for accepting me through it all. What a great 4 years. I came there as a boy and left a man." Jevon Carter is one of the most beloved individuals in West Virginia sports history and his four years as a Mountaineer provided some of the best moments in WVU basketball history. Speaking for all of Mountaineer Nation: Jevon, we love and miss you too, good luck with the end of the NBA season, and come back home anytime!
For those of you Mountaineer fans who like to partake in adult beverages while watching our guys compete, we have the perfect game for you. When WVU meets the Texas Longhorns this evening on ABC, follow these instructions to our WVU-Texas DRINKING Game, and have fun. Remember, do so responsibly. (Disclaimer: Don’t really try this. This is intended to be a joke.) Bad call in favor of Texas = 1 shot Shaka Smart’s creepy hair gets screen time = 1 shot WVU misses free throw = 2 shots ”Deuce McBride was a quarterback” comment from announcers = finish bottle Sean McNeil three-pointer = 3 shots ”At Home with Baker Mayfield” commercial = sip a beer Spencer Macke gets playing time = douse your body in the beverage LET’S GO MOUNTAINEERS!
Morgantown, West Virginia - When Darris Nichols returned to the WVU Coliseum as an assistant coach for the Florida Gators last season, it was a really big deal for him. "It meant a lot,” he said. “Just for the simple fact that a lot of the people on the other side of the court, on the other bench, are people who have helped me get to where I am today. To me, that is a homecoming." Nichols, a former point guard for the Mountaineers from 2004-2008, averaged 10.7 points and 3.2 assists as a senior for a West Virginia team that went 26-11 in Bob Huggins' first season in Morgantown, and he is now the head coach of the Radford Highlanders' men's basketball team. Radford (3-5) will be in Morgantown today to play the West Virginia Mountaineers (6-1) in a matchup that could feature West Virginia's legendary head coach (Bob Huggins) against the Mountaineers' potential future head coach (Darris Nichols). Nichols continues to climb the coaching ranks and has been impressive both on and off the court and Huggins remembers Nichols fondly. "He was a coach on the floor,” Huggins said of his former player. “Darris was like the quarterback on our team. He got the ball where it was supposed to go when it was supposed to get there and defensively he kinda help put guys where they were supposed to be.” Nichols was an outstanding player, but he's probably an even better coach. "Well, I was honestly a little surprised he didn’t keep playing for a little longer. He came in and said he wanted to be a coach, and that's the direction he wanted to go. He’s obviously done a great job with it,” Huggins said. Although West Virginians would love to have Bob Huggins roaming the sidelines for the Mountaineers forever, that simply cannot happen, and a post-Huggins plan has already likely been considered by West Virginia Director of Athletics Shane Lyons. Nichols gaining experience as a head coach at Radford over the next several years until Huggins retires and then returning to take over for his former head coach would be a perfect, seamless transition for the West Virginia Mountaineers basketball program.
Morgantown, West Virginia - Tony Caridi, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the West Virginia Mountaineers, will tonight’s game, as well as the team’s next game. Caridi, 59, is in the COVID Protocol. In a message on his personal social media account, Caridi said the following: “I’ll be out the next 2 basketball games. In COVID protocol. Feel great…expect to be back next week. Let’s Go Mountaineers!” https://twitter.com/tonycaridi/status/1483545775468687364?s=21
Indianapolis, Indiana - West Virginia guard Sean McNeil suffered a nasty, unintentional blow from Corey Kispert in the first half of the Mountaineers game against the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. McNeil was called for a blocking foul even on the replay it was clear that Kispert elbowed him, leading to a badly-bloodied forehead. McNeil was 0-4 from the field and 0-3 from 3 point range before leaving. Let’s hope he can get stitched up and hot in the second half!
MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- After Bob Huggins' DUI arrest and resignation as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, several players left the program. The very first player that left the team was Tre Mitchell, a 6'9 redshirt senior from Pittsburgh, PA, who transferred to Kentucky. Kentucky played four games this past week in the GLOBL JAM, an event featuring national teams from around the globe. During the event, Mitchell was outstanding, averaging 14.5 points, 8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Because of Mitchell's success, Kentucky fans have flocked to social media to "thank Bob Huggins." They say that Mitchell is playing for Kentucky due to Bob Huggins' poor decision-making. All players on the West Virginia roster were given a 30 day window to transfer following Huggins' resignation and Mitchell took advantage of that. Fans have "thanked Bob Huggins" by saying things like, "If I ever meet Bob Huggins, I’m buying him a beer as a thank you for Tre Mitchell", "Hey, Bob Huggins! I’m sorry about your recent problems, but thank you very much. With love, The Big Blue Nation", and "Thank you for your graciousness Bob Huggins." https://twitter.com/Nikki_boy731/status/1680803151337725955?s=20 https://twitter.com/ChrisJenkinsBBN/status/1680753013542072320?s=20 https://twitter.com/proberts27/status/1680734511590408192?s=20 https://twitter.com/BleedBlueUKY/status/1680734440069242885?s=20 https://twitter.com/BBNTonight/status/1681088894459318272?s=20
Morgantown, West Virginia - Manhattan transfer Jose Perez was not given immediate eligibility when the NCAA denied West Virginia's appeal on its previous decision to sit him out for the 2022-2023 season. Instead, Perez will now have to wait until next season before he is cleared to play with the Mountaineers. West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins was obviously unhappy and confused by the decision and spoke his mind about it following his team's 83-78 loss at home to Baylor. "Extremely unfortunate. I don't know the whys and whatever else. I know you're talking about a kid who was a very good student who gave no one problems or issues. He was recommended by his high school coach who is very well thought of in New York. Rick Pitino recommended him as a player and as a person. The truth of the matter is, and I'll probably get in trouble for saying it, they (the NCAA) don't know what the hell they are doing. I mean, they don't do what they're supposed to do so they get sued. I don't know how they came to that decision."
Morgantown, West Virginia - Oklahoma State, West Virginia's opponent on Thursday in the Big 12 Tournament, was handed a postseason ban at the beginning of the season and should not be allowed to play past the regular season. Lamont Evans, a former assistant coach for the Cowboys, accepted approximately $20,000 in bribes to direct players to sign with certain financial advisors. For this, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions handed down the punishment of 3 years of probation and a 2020-2021 postseason ban for the basketball team. Oklahoma State appealed the ban earlier in the season and the NCAA has yet to respond to the appeal. So, the postseason ban should absolutely still be in effect. However, Oklahoma State is still expected to play in the Big 12 Tournament. What kind of punishment is this? Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Boynton said he hasn't heard anything about the appeal process since the school filed it. "No, not at this point", Boynton said. "It's not moving as fast as I think people thought it was and I think thought it would initially, I don't know if we have anymore clarity on the finality of it at this point. As soon as we know more information, we'll pass it along." So the Oklahoma State Cowboys will play in a game and in a tournament that they have absolutely no business participating in. The West Virginia Mountaineers should be given a bye and should be allowed to prepare for the top-ranked Baylor Bears on Friday.
Morgantown, West Virginia - Former West Virginia Mountaineers forward and Fairmont, West Virginia native, Jalen Bridges, has been heavily pursued by several major programs since entering the transfer portal last month. Bridges, who averaged 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for West Virginia last season, has already taken official visits to Ohio State and Alabama, and today, he’s in Waco, Texas visiting the campus of the Baylor Bears, a Big 12 rival of the Mountaineers. Although Michigan State was considered an early favorite, Baylor’s head coach Scott Drew met Bridges in West Virginia for an in-home visit last week and now Bridges is visiting the Baylor campus. If Bridges picks Baylor, or any team in the Big 12 Conference, imagine the Coliseum's reaction when his new team takes the court for the first time against the Mountaineers!
Morgantown, West Virginia - Earlier today, West Virginia’s legendary head coach, Bob Huggins, learned that he will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Luckily, cameras were present when Huggins received the call that he will be inducted. The President of the Hall of Fame called to congratulate Huggins, saying, “I think your day is going to get brighter. I want to congratulate you on being elected to the Class of 2022 of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Coach!” Huggins, clearly honored, replied, “Thank you very much. I really, really appreciate it. Thank you.” The President of the Hall of Fame said, “Very well-deserved. Very well-respected. What a great career that you’ve had. You’re a very special part of basketball and your career will be chronicled forever in the Hall of Fame.” Huggins closed the call by adding, “It’s great. It’s an unbelievable honor.” After the phone call, Huggins smiled and said, “How about that?” https://twitter.com/wvuhoops/status/1510392130472071169?s=21&t=6M5WIKJioP3XCQ8OG-ucBQ
WHEELING, West Virginia -- Best Virginia, a collection of former West Virginia players, fell to the Marshall alumni team, Herd That, 74-61 in the Second Round of the TBT in Wheeling, West Virginia. Best Virginia was led by West Virginia legend Kevin Jones, who was likely playing in his final TBT game, finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Former Fairmont State standout Jamel Morris had 13 points and Erik Stevenson added 9 points before fouling out. James Kelly (16 points, 9 rebounds) and Jon Elmore (16 points, 6 rebounds) led Herd That. https://twitter.com/thetournament/status/1684732751721738242?s=20 With the loss, Best Virginia is eliminated from The Tournament, while Herd That moves on to play the winner of tonight’s matchup of the #2 ranked Sideline Cancer versus #3 Challenge ALS in the regional final at 2:00 PM Saturday. https://twitter.com/thetournament/status/1684733181906300928?s=20 https://twitter.com/thetournament/status/1684717575198920704?s=20
Morgantown, West Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers have been very active in the transfer portal, pursuing virtually every major player who becomes available. Bob Huggins and his coaching staff have already landed Jose Perez, Omar Silverio and Jesse Edwards, and it's clear that they are not done yet. West Virginia has made finding a shooting wing a priority. Huggins ideally would like a scoring guard who can play tough perimeter defense to round out his starting lineup. Currently, Kerr Kriisa is locked in at the 1, Jose Perez at the 3, Tre Mitchell at the 4 and Jesse Edwards at the 5. The Mountaineers could potentially play Joe Toussaint off the ball and start him, or start Seth Wilson, Omar Silverio or Kobe Johnson, but ultimately Huggins would prefer those players to come off the bench. Caleb Grill is in Morgantown on a visit and the Mountaineers have in touch with former Oklahoma State guard Avery Anderson, but there's one player who just entered the portal yesterday who would fit all of the team's needs. Jaylon Tyson, a 6'7 wing from Plano, Texas, averaged 10.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game for the Texas Tech Red Raiders last season and CBS Sports ranked him as the 9th best overall player in the transfer portal. Kerr Kriisa was ranked 7th and Jesse Edwards was 8th. CBS Sports had the following to say about Tyson: "Tyson is the epitome of an all-around player and one of the most underrated two-way wings in the sport, shooting 53.8% from the field and 40.2% from three point range. He also ranked as Texas Tech's best defender, according to evanmiya.com, while collecting 1.4 steals per contest. The former Top 40 prospect began his career at Texas but played sparingly before showing this past season why he was so highly regarded as a prospect." 6'7. Shoots 53.8% from the field. 40.2% from three point range. And he was the top defender on a Big 12 team last season. If Jaylon Tyson isn't the perfect fit for the Mountaineers right now, I don't know who is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiG9lkeAsD8
The fear of the Coronavirus lives on. In an expected turn of events, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that the March Madness tournament would continue without any fans in attendance. In a tweet sent out by the NCAA, Emmert stated that only “essential staff and limited family members” would be allowed to attend the game. Stay tuned to The Voice of West Virginia for updates. https://twitter.com/ncaa/status/1237838583630721027?s=21