Morgantown, West Virginia – Look, preseason polls and rankings and awards mean nothing. They are prognostications by “experts” who really know very little about teams and players throughout the league.
When the Big 12 Conference released its 2020-2021 Men’s Basketball Preseason Awards, there was a very glaring omission from the list. While sensational sophomore Oscar Tshiebwe was named to the All Big 12 First Team and junior forward Derek Culver was honorable mention, sophomore guard Miles “Deuce” McBride was nowhere to be found.
McBride, who was named to the All Big 12 Freshman team last season, averaged 9.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in a reserve role as a freshman. However, all reports out of Morgantown indicate that McBride is now the main man on the team this season.
CBS Basketball Analyst Jon Rothstein recently said, “Well embedded moles in Morgantown believe that Miles McBride has emerged in the offseason as West Virginia’s top overall player. Could alter Mountaineers’ ceiling in 2020-2021.”
ESPN College Basketball Analyst Fran Fraschilla agreed with Rothstein, adding, “Everybody is going to be paying attention to him now.”
There’s no question that Miles McBride has improved greatly during the offseason. Head Coach Bob Huggins said, “Deuce has improved all parts of his game. He’s a better shooter, a better decision-maker, a better passer, a better leader.”
There were five guards who made the Big 12 Preseason first team. Baylor’s Jared Butler, who was selected as the Preseason Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, averaged 16.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Marcus Garrett, a senior guard for Kansas, averaged 9.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game for the Jayhawks last season. Oklahoma’s senior guard Austin Reaves averaged 14.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Matt Coleman, a senior guard for Texas, averaged 12.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assist per game for the Longhorns last season.
In addition, Cade Cunningham, one of the top recruits in the nation last season, is a freshman for the Oklahoma State Cowboys and has yet to step foot on a college court. Oscar Tshiebwe was the only non-guard to make the conference first team.
Although all of these players are outstanding, none of more deserving of preseason accolades and hype than West Virginia’s own Miles McBride, who is set for a truly breakout season. Even though he was not recognized on the Big 12 First Team, he will undoubtedly be there at the end of the season.