Morgantown, West Virginia – Following West Virginia’s seventh consecutive loss, the sad fact that was revealed is that the Mountaineers just aren’t as talented as the top teams in the nation. The other challenging reality is that Bob Huggins is an old-school coach in a world that is changing rapidly.
Players, particularly the best in the country, don’t want to play for a coach who will make them a better person, or push them on and off the court. Instead, they want to build their brands, become NBA-ready and be paid large sums of money for it.
Earlier today, Mitch Vingle, a former editor/journalist in the state had a very forward-thinking thought not typical of the West Virginia media.
“It’s just time for West Virginia basketball to join the rest of the crowd and start buying players. The door is open. A Hall of Fame-to-be coach is in place. The Mountaineer fans are awesome. The Coliseum and practice facilities are top notch. The Country Roads Trust is there.”
It’s just time for @WVUhoops to join the rest of the crowd and start buying players. The door is open. A Hall of Fame-to-be coach is in place. The Mountaineer fans are awesome. The Coliseum and practice facilities are top notch. @CountryRdsTrust is there. #letsgo
— Mitch Vingle (@MitchVingle) February 5, 2022
Vingle’s take was certainly eye-opening and intriguing. This is today’s college basketball. This is the world we live in.
Bob Huggins is a great coach, but why in the world would one of the best recruits in the country come to Morgantown to play for him if he’s going to challenge them, expect them to be a team player and not be paid for it?
While it’s a difficult thing for the people of West Virginia to accept, paying high school students large sums of money is the only way to compete in college basketball. And it’s perfectly legal now.
The Country Roads Trust is a tremendous first step, but it has to be organized and focused. Bringing in the very best high school recruits should be its primary goal.
For instance, Kwame Evans, a 6’9 200 pound power forward from Baltimore, Maryland, who plays for Montverde Academy in Florida. Evans is a five star recruit and the #2 ranked prospect in the country, according to ESPN.
West Virginia has no chance of attracting Evans…unless, of course, donors and fans can put a couple of million dollars together for him. While $2 million seems like a lot to give to a high school student, his level of talent is absolutely worth it to the basketball program.
With a legendary head coach, state of the art basketball practice facilities and $2 million cash, West Virginia becomes a major player for a talent like Kwame Evans.
With Kwame Evans and a few key pieces to surround him with, the Mountaineers become a contender.