Morgantown, West Virginia – Former West Virginia assistant coach Billy Hahn, who coached alongside Bob Huggins for several years, recently said on his Live show (on The Voice of Motown, every Thursday 8:00-8:30) that Huggins is very high on this year’s team. In fact, Hahn said, the major problem with the team is finding minutes for all of the incredibly talented players on the team.
West Virginia is loaded this season. The Mountaineers have the talent, depth, size and potential to be better than any team that Bob Huggins has ever coached, and he’s coached some outstanding players and teams during his remarkable career.
The most dominant front court in the Big 12 and perhaps the nation – Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver – both return, and while West Virginia will lost Jermaine Haley, Chase Harler and Logan Routt, Huggins brought in talented JUCO guard Kedrian Johnson (the #4 ranked JUCO player in the country), four star forward Isaiah Cottrell, four star Jalen Bridges (who Huggins referred to as “one of his best players in practice) and Taj Thweatt (one of the best high school players in the state of New Jersey).
Oscar Tshiebwe is the best rebounder in the country and has worked hard during the offseason to improve his post game. Derek Culver is probably the second best rebounder in the Big 12 Conference between Tshiebwe.
Miles “Deuce” McBride is the best returning guard in the conference and the likely leader of the team. Kedrian Johnson adds a scoring punch from the two guard position that the Mountaineers haven’t had in years.
Emmitt Matthews, although he struggled at times last season, is an incredible athlete and can score from the perimeter and attack the basket. His length and size make him one of the most difficult players in the conference to stop when he’s making shots.
Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil are deadly scorers off the bench. Gabe Osabuohien is a perfect complimentary garbage man to replace Tshiebwe or Culver when they are tired or in foul trouble. Jordan McCabe is an ideal veteran leader that will provide key minutes behind Miles McBride. Jalen Bridges and Isaiah Cottrell are talented and mature enough to step in an immediately contribute as freshman.
With this talent, Huggins has a fantastic problem…too much depth. How can all of these players get enough playing time? Can the players put the team before themselves?
These are the questions that Bob Huggins and staff will try to figure out and really, this is the best possible “problem” to have – too few minutes for players that deserve to be on the court.
If the players on this team can come together and value wins over points and minutes, the sky is the limit for the West Virginia Mountaineers this season.