Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers desperately need an impact transfer player to come in next season and fill the holes left by seniors Taz Sherman, Gabe Osabuohien, Malik Curry, Pauly Paulicap, Dimon Carrigan, as well as transfers Jalen Bridges and Isaiah Cottrell.
While Bob Huggins and his staff have certainly been busy reaching out to potential players to join the team, their very first phone call should be to Jake Stephens.
Stephens, a 6’11 270 pound center, flew under the radar as a high school recruit out of Bunker Hill, West Virginia, and ended up playing at VMI.
During his senior season this past year, Stephens averaged 19.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, shooting 55.9% from the field and 78.6% from the free throw line, and he led the Southern Conference in three point percentage at 48.9%.
Stephens has a COVID year of eligibility remaining, but VMI does not have a graduate program. So he will either have to transfer to another school, or quit playing basketball all together.
Stephens told the Roanoke Times that he intends to continue playing basketball: “I’m going to keep playing. I’m just not sure where yet.”
What better opportunity is there for a West Virginia kid than to come back home and finish his career representing his home state?
Stephens is a tough defensive player, a tremendous passer at his size (averages 3.3 assists per game) and he has the ability to step out and hit three pointers better than anyone in the Big 12 Conference.
Although he didn’t get a lot of attention out of high school, Stephens will certainly be pursued by Power 5 Conference teams searching for someone with his unique abilities.
Every West Virginia kid’s dream is to grow up and play for the Mountaineers, and Jake Stephens will finally have the opportunity to make that dream a reality.
Bring him home, Huggs.