Derek Culver is Out of Control

Make no mistake about it, sophomore forward Derek Culver is the alpha male in the West Virginia locker room.  For a team without a real leader, Culver is the top dog. However, Derek Culver's body language and behavior on the court doesn't do anything positive for the Mountaineers.  In fact, his negativity and "bull in a china shop" mentality has become a real issue for West Virginia. In tonight's loss to the Texas Longhorns, Culver was seen screaming at freshman point guard Miles McBride for not getting him the ball in the post quickly enough.  Culver, who is so out of control offensively that it looks like he's playing on roller skates at times, had a  smaller player on him and wanted to take advantage of him. In all fairness to McBride, throwing the ball in the post to Derek Culver most likely results in one of two things:  Culver will lose the ball and then sulk back slowly on defense, or he will miss a hook shot and then sulk slowly back on defense. If he doesn't lose the ball or miss a shot, he's fouled by the opposing team, which is just as bad as the two previous options.  Culver, who shot 80% from the foul line through the first five games of the season, simply cannot make a free throw at all now. Although Culver has many reasons to be frustrated, he should be the most infuriated by his own performance.  Instead of screaming at his teammates and pointing his finger, he should look in the mirror and make some changes.

The Case for West Virginia’s Next Men’s Head Basketball Coach

Morgantown, West Virginia - Today was a very big day for Darris Nichols.  Nichols, 34, landed his first head coaching position and it just happens to be in his hometown of Radford, Virginia. "It's great to be home," Nichols said in his introductory press conference. "It's special to be able to come back.  This is truly a homecoming for me." However, Radford is not Nichols' final destination as a head coach.  Radford is an outstanding first job for a young coach to get experience to prepare for a big-time job like replacing Bob Huggins at his alma mater, West Virginia University. When Darris Nichols returned to the WVU Coliseum as an assistant coach for the Florida Gators this past season, it was a really big deal for him. “It means 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.  He left West Virginia as one of the five winningest players in school history. 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. Nichols earned a spot in ESPN.com’s 40 Under 40 in the summer of 2020, rated #17 on the national list that included both head coaches and assistant coaches, according to the Florida basketball official website. He was also rated the #2 assistant coach in the SEC in a Stadium poll of coaches around the league. 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 needs to be in place for when he decides to retire. Darris Nichols is the obvious, perfect replacement for Huggins in a few years.  Getting experience as a head coach at Radford for a couple seasons will allow for a smooth transition when Huggins decides to call it quits.  Huggins will likely take a role in the athletic department and will have a say in who his successor will be, and he is extremely impressed by Nichols. "Can't express how happy and proud I am of Coach Nichols," Huggins said after today's announcement. "There's not a more deserving person In the game. Radford got a great one!" In a few years, West Virginia University should bring him back to his other home, Morgantown, West Virginia, as the new head coach of the Mountaineers.

MUST SEE: Jevon Carter’s Highlights from Inside the NBA Bubble

Earlier today, West Virginia University released a highlight video of Jevon Carter’s best moments during the NBA Bubble season this summer. Carter, a former West Virginia All-American, averaged 7.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and played his typical amazing defense during the Suns’ incredible 8-0 run inside the Bubble. WVU Men’s Basketball official account posted the highlights and added, “This summer, the league got to see what our  guy is all about!” https://twitter.com/nextlevel_03/status/1301934577695567873?s=21 Carter is a restricted free agent, meaning the Phoenix Suns can sign him to a long-term deal or choose to not sign him, making him a free agent who can sign anywhere around the league.            

West Virginia Could Add Another Big-Time Texas Transfer

Morgantown, West Virginia - West Virginia added a huge piece of the puzzle today when 6'9 forward/center Tre Mitchell committed to play for the Mountaineers. Mitchell, who played one season with the Texas Longhorns, averaged 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game two seasons ago at UMASS. Although Mitchell typically started for Texas last season, his minutes were cut nearly in half, which led to a major decrease in his statistics. Mitchell averaged 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in only 18.6 minutes per game last season. Now, Mitchell's former teammate at Texas, Courtney Ramey, is in the transfer portal and West Virginia is heavily pursuing him. Ramey, a 6'3 combo guard, has averaged 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in his four seasons with the Longhorns. In addition, he's shot 37% from three point range and has shown flashes of real offensive brilliance, particularly against West Virginia. Ramey is a highly sought-after prospect who has been contacted by California, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Villanova, but the Mountaineers desperately need a scoring wing with Big 12 experience and Ramey is the ideal candidate. In addition, his relationship with former teammate Tre Mitchell and friend Emmitt Matthews, Jr. could make West Virginia real favorites for his services. Following Mitchell's commitment to the Mountaineers, Ramey weighed in with an eyeball emoji and West Virginia transfer commit Erik Stevenson added, "Yes sir, bring Courtney Ramey over here with you." Ramey's tremendous scoring ability from the perimeter is precisely what West Virginia lacks currently.While Bob Huggins has rebuilt his roster and has worked miracles in the transfer portal already, adding a player of the caliber of Courtney Ramey would truly make the Mountaineers contenders heading into the 2022-2023 season. 2022-2023 Potential Starting Lineup With Courtney Ramey Joe Toussaint/Kedrian Johnson Erik Stevenson Courtney Ramey Emmitt Matthews, Jr. Tre Mitchell This is a lineup that would be truly competitive in the Big 12 Conference and nationally next season. https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1525167593182711809?s=20&t=hR-ILNJCJiRofSxRT-XoTw

The Return of Emmitt Matthews, Jr.

Morgantown, West Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers have one remaining scholarship left and it could be used on a former member of the WVU basketball program. Emmitt Matthews, Jr. is back in the transfer portal after playing one year with his hometown Washington Huskies, and according to West Virginia's play-by-play announcer Tony Caridi, Matthews could return to Morgantown to finish out his collegiate career. On the latest episode of "Three Guys Before The Game" podcast, Caridi said there is a "very strong likelihood" of Matthews returning to West Virginia. Caridi added, "It would be like he never left. They probably still have his name above his old locker." Matthews, who played three seasons with the Mountaineers, averaged a career-high 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this last season with Washington. The return of Matthews would certainly be an interesting storyline, but the Mountaineers are still desperate for a true scoring wing and Matthews seemingly does not fill that void. Matthews is a talented athlete and a terrific slasher, but he has struggled throughout his career from the field and from three point range. Matthews, a redshirt senior, will have one year of eligibility remaining. Stay tuned!

Update on Jesse Edwards

Syracuse transfer Jesse Edwards is expected to remain at WVU, per Josh Eilert. Morgantown, WV - According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, WVU Interim Head Coach Josh Eilert expects Syracuse transfer Jesse Edwards to remain at WVU despite Bob Huggins’ resignation. https://twitter.com/jonrothstein/status/1674783628671475715?s=46&t=cXIQ4JQG-pp-P6qrRwLwjw   Edwards averaged 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for the Orange last season. He is expected to play a huge roll for the Mountaineers during the 2023-24 season. (Photo via WVU Athletics)

West Virginia Begins Big 12 Conference Schedule

Cover Photo: Ben Queen/USA Today Morgantown, West Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers are 10-2 and ranked #24 in the nation as they embark on their first Big 12 Conference matchup up this evening at 7:00PM at the Fred Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas to face the 11-1 Kansas State Wildcats. West Virginia is currently a 1.5 point underdog, but the Mountaineers are far more battle-tested against quality opponents than Kansas State so far this season. Kansas State has beaten solid teams like LSU, Nevada, California, Nebraska and Wichita State, but none of those teams were ranked at the time. Kansas State's only loss this season was at an 8-6 Butler team. Kansas State is led by Keyontae Johnson, a senior forward transfer from Florida, who is averaging 17.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.  "I feel like we've been successful," Johnson said. "We've been playing as a team these last few games. Conference games are going to be dogfights, and we figured out how to fight at the end, so going into conference play, I feel like we're ready for it. It's why we came to K-State, just to play against the best conference." Johnson continued: "Whether we're ready or not, we're about to face it. The thing about the Big 12 is you can't get too high, and you can't get too low, and I believe we're developing. We've put in the habits that we need to give us a chance, and so what we have to do is every night, bring the kind of energy and passion and focus, so that we can put ourselves in position to win games." West Virginia has been impressive early on but the real season begins tonight. The Mountaineers, who are led by Erik Stevenson (14.5 points per game) and Tre Mitchell (12.8 points per game), know that tonight's game will be a real indicator of whether they are a legitimate contender or not. West Virginia at Kansas State begins tonight at 7:00PM and will be shown live on ESPN+.

West Virginia in the Mix for Top Transfer Player

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Earlier in the week, West Virginia head coach Josh Eilert said that he would consider adding another player from the transfer portal if the right player became available. "In a perfect world, if we could get a big in here or even a shooting guard, that would be great. But I have nothing to report on that end and I couldn't if I did," Eliert said. "If an opportunity presents itself and makes sense to us, we'd 100-percent do it." Eilert added, however, that there just aren't many great options available right now in the transfer portal. "A slam dunk is almost impossible at this point," he said. "If it was a slam dunk, he wouldn't be available." Well, a potential "slam dunk" has become available in the portal and West Virginia is reportedly "in the mix." Nae'Qwan Tomlin, a 6'10 forward from Harlem, New York, averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Wildcats last season. Tomlin was suspended on October 30 following an arrest for “disorderly conduct, brawling or fighting" and this week was removed from the team. Now, Tomlin is available in the portal and West Virginia is considered to be a potential destination for him to start the second semester. He will be eligible to play during the second semester because he's not played so far this season and is scheduled to graduate before then. According to BurnerBall.com, a top college basketball insider website, the "schools that make sense for Tomlin include Georgetown, Kansas, Miami, Oregon, Providence and West Virginia." If West Virginia can somehow manage to land Tomlin, he is the type of talent that could turn the Mountaineers' season around, particularly when Kerr Kriisa and potentially RaeQuan Battle are once again eligible. https:/twitter.com/trillydonovan/status/1732785507338232195?s=20

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.

West Virginia Players Say This Team is Very Special

Morgantown, West Virginia - Following the 2021-2022 season, a season where the West Virginia Mountaineers finished 16-17 overall and dead last at 4-14 in the Big 12 Conference, Bob Huggins has been on a mission to "fix it." Although Huggins missed out on former Texas guard Courtney Ramey, who chose to finish his career with the Arizona Wildcats, the Mountaineers have managed to put together one of the very best group of transfers in the entire nation. Landing five star transfer guards Erik Stevenson and Joe Toussaint was only the beginning for Huggins' roster transformation. Stevenson and Toussaint give the Mountaineers experience and toughness to go with Kedrian Johnson in the backcourt, but the real focus was improving the interior play. Tre Mitchell, a proven Big 12 talent, is perhaps the most important player on West Virginia's roster. He's shown that he's capable of averaging a double-double and gives the team a true post player who is also able to step out and make perimeter shots consistently. Joining Mitchell in the front court is Emmitt Matthews, Jr., who has grown tremendously in his year away from the team. Matthews averaged 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game at Washington last season and is perhaps one of the most athletic players to play for West Virginia in a long time. In addition to the players already mentioned, newcomers Pat Suemnick, Mohamed Wague and Jimmy Bell have all reportedly been very impressive in early team practices. Although it's very early, the Mountaineers already appear to be more cohesive than last season and have the pieces in place to really surprise people in the Big 12 Conference. According to Erik Stevenson, who will be playing in his 5th season with three teams, he thinks this team can be "very special." In response to Emmitt Matthews saying that "loves this team", Stevenson said, "Been trying to say this! Special group." https://twitter.com/ej_stevenson5/status/1536484464745906177?s=20&t=vuP-CC_CfRVh8Bm1qMDeew

The Oscar Tshiebwe Bob Huggins Feud Took a Major Turn

Morgantown, West Virginia - After former West Virginia Mountaineers forward Oscar Tshiebwe made shocking allegations about his former coach, the legendary Bob Huggins, in an article released on The Athletic yesterday. Tshiebwe said the following in the article: "Coach Huggins told me he was going to ruin my life if I did that. He was going to say all these different things to NBA GMs so nobody would ever want me. He said a lot of negative things about me to Coach Calipari. He said I got caught smoking weed. He said I got caught with a lot of different women. Crazy stuff I didn’t know about. I told Coach Calipari, ‘If you believe those things, that means I cannot be at Kentucky. But you know me, you recruited me since high school, and I’ve been a faithful kid. I respect every human being.'" A few hours after the article released, Tshiebwe apparently reached out to the writer of the article, Kyle Tucker, a University of Kentucky beat writer, to clarify that the quotes that he gave Tucker were not from a direct conversation with Huggins but rather was "told by people around him someone at WVU was saying these things." Tshiebwe went on to say that the only direct comment from Huggins to him was "You're ruining your life."  This comment, of course, could be taken in a variety of ways. It could mean that Tshiebwe, an incredible, was ruining his life by his rumored issue with marijuana, his questionable lifestyle choices, or the fact that he allowed himself to get out of shape prior to the start of his sophomore season at West Virginia. The issue is that it could mean a lot of things, including Huggins potentially believing him leaving West Virginia would "ruin his life", but Tshiebwe's remarks to Tucker led him to believe initially that Huggins had made these remarks directly to his former player. In addition, Huggins saying "you're ruining your life" is a far cry from him reaching out to NBA general managers and Kentucky's head coach John Calipari to make up lies about him and try to actually ruin his life.   Although there could have been language barriers with Tshiebwe, it's difficult to have Huggins' name dragged through the mud when he's built his career on integrity and honesty, even to his own detriment. With that said, Tshiebwe should issue a brief apology to Bob Huggins to close the chapter on this dark, unusual situation. https://twitter.com/KyleTucker_ATH/status/1471898764994498561?s=20

No. 12 WVU hosts streaking TCU

West Virginia looks for its third-straight win Tuesday night when the Mountaineers host the surprise team of the Big 12. TCU (12-3, 3-0 Big 12) was a consensus pick to finish in the conference basement in the Big 12 preseason pool, but the Horned Frogs are off to a strong starting, including winning their first three conference games (Kansas State, 59-57; Oklahoma State, 52-40; Iowa State, 81-79). TCU is tied with No. 2 Baylor atop the conference standings. WVU (13-2, 2-1) has won a pair of conference games after dropping the Big 12 opener in Kansas. Freshman guard Miles McBride continues his rise as one of the Mountaineers best players after scoring a career-best 22 points in Saturday night's win over Texas Tech. TCU is led by senior Desmond Bane (6-foot-6), who leads the team with 17.1 points a game. Bane also tallies seven rebounds a game and 3.5 points a contest. Sophomore Kevin Samuel (6-11) paces the Horned Frogs on the glass, pulling down 8.9 rebounds a game. Sophomore guard R.J. Nembhard leads TCU with 3.6 assists a game. Bane, Nembhard (13.1) and Samuel (10.8) average double-digit scoring for the Horned Frogs. Bane (35.5 minutes a game) and Nembhard (318 mpg) see heavy floor time for TCU, but the Horned Frogs have depth outside of those two. Nine Horned Frogs average more than 12 minutes of playing time a contest. The TCU game is the second of a stretch where the Mountaineers are playing six of eight at home. The game tips off at 9 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU. WVU is a 7 1/2 point favorite. ESPN's BPI heavily favors the Mountaineers.

Mountaineers hold position in latest Bracketology

Winning the Cancun Challenge hasn't improved West Virginia's NCAA Tournament prospects according the ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi. In the latest version of his ESPN Bracketology forecast, Lunardi has the Mountaineers in the tournament as a 10 seed in the East Region. That's the same seed Lunardi had WVU in last week's prediction. In this week's Bracketology, Lunardi has WVU playing seventh-seed St. Mary's in Cleveland in the first round.

Miami Interested in Adding Oscar Tshiebwe

Morgantown, West Virginia - According to multiple sources, including a report released moments ago by 247's Inside the U, the University of Miami is interested in adding former West Virginia sophomore forward Oscar Tshiebwe. Since leaving Morgantown, Tshiebwe has been in the Miami area but is not allowed to visit the university's campus because it is currently the dead period. Miami is currently last place in the ACC (4-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play) and Tshiebwe would be a huge addition for the Hurricanes.  In ten games with the Mountaineers this season, Tshiebwe averaged 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. When the dead period ends, it's expected that Tshiebwe will sign with the Hurricanes.  Tshiebwe will likely have three years of eligibility remaining and should be eligible to play for the team next season.

Bob Huggins’ Dramatic Weight Loss

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Former West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has appeared at the WVU Coliseum multiple times to watch the Mountaineers, and one common thing that we hear about Huggins is how much weight he appears to have lost. Huggins, 70, was arrested and forced to resign as the head coach at West Virginia following an embarrassing DUI in Pittsburgh over the summer. Since then, Huggins has seemingly turned his health around and has stopped drinking alcohol. Huggins' has noticeably slimmed down and there could be a variety of reasons for that. Obviously, not drinking alcohol will lead to almost immediate weight loss. According to Healthline, "depending on how much you drank, your starting weight, your age, and how you've treated diet and exercise since you stopped drinking, it's not uncommon to lose anywhere between 6-15 pounds after a month without alcohol." Huggins was arrested on June 17th, which means that if he truly hasn't "had a drop of alcohol" since his arrest, as he's stated numerous times over the last several months, he could have easily lost 50 pounds. In addition to no longer drinking, Huggins' lifestyle has certainly changed as well. The hustle and bustle of being a major Power 5 Conference coach is certainly stressful, and without dealing with recruiting, coaching, traveling, etc., he has more time to relax and exercise. Huggins' reported sobriety is exactly what he needed at this stage in his life. Him no longer drinking could lead to several positive outcomes in his life, including repairing liver damage, decreasing the risk of heart disease, reducing the risk of cancer, boosting brain power, improving sleep, and of course, facilitating weight loss. Huggins has stated that he wants to coach basketball and with a clean bill of health, it's very possible that a program desperate to win will take a chance on one of the winningest coaches in the sport's history. Check out side by side photos of Huggins when he was coaching (and presumably drinking) and now. It's a dramatic difference! https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1752847802541965553?s=20