Morgantown, West Virginia – This past summer, former West Virginia Mountaineers forward Jalen Bridges spoke with The Final Fourcast Podcast featuring legendary forward Kevin Jones and long-time reserve John Flowers, who averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game during his career at West Virginia, and Bridges was very open about why he left the Mountaineers and moved on to Baylor.
Bridges explained that there were a lot of issues behind the scenes and opened up about some of the issues that he had with the coaching staff.
“We had team meetings and we broke it down for the coaches. We told them that we understood that they break players down and build them back up, but it felt like they forgot to ever build us back up.
They spent a lot of time drilling us. And to me, if they were cussing us and telling us we’re this and we’re that and it’s not working, why would they continue to do that? Why wouldn’t you switch it up and try a different approach, and maybe see if that would work?”
Bridges continued, “I would rather be taught than just be yelled at. I’m fine with yelling if there’s teaching too. Not that there wasn’t any teaching, but they’d rather yell at you and put you on the treadmill than show you what to do and how to fix it. It’s like a punishment over actually getting better.”
Bridges went on to say that him and his teammates checked out at the end of the season and that he simply needed to go to a different situation. Bridges also said that playing out of position and a lack of playing time was part of his decision, but one of the main factors was that he scheduled a meeting with Bob Huggins and that meeting was blown off.
“I wanted to talk to Huggs and figure everything out. That meeting never happened.”
Bridges said that he wanted to stay home and play in front of his family, but he had to do what was best for his future.
“I could have gone somewhere and made $500,000, but that’s not what it was about for me. I’m trying to play in the NBA and make generational money.”
West Virginia welcomes Bridges and the Baylor Bears to the WVU Coliseum tonight at 7:00PM. The game will be televised live on ESPN+.