The Missing Piece of the Championship Puzzle

If the West Virginia Mountaineers can add Olivier Nkamhoua, they would arguably have the most talented team in the Big 12 and perhaps in the nation. 

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — According to multiple reports, the West Virginia Mountaineers are hosting Tennessee transfer Olivier Nkamhoua on an official visit this weekend, May 27-28. The West Virginia coaching staff has had tremendous success getting commitments from players once they are on campus so this visit is an tremendous sign for the program.

Nkamhoua, a 6’9 power forward from Finland, averaged 10.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game for the Vols this season, shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the 3-point line, where he went 18-54.

Nkamhoua took part in the NBA’s G League Elite camp last week in Chicago, scoring 12 points on 3-6 shooting from the floor and 4-6 from the free throw line in his first game, adding two rebounds, two assists and a pair of turnovers. In his second game, he had five points on 2-for-5 shooting, including 1-for-2 from the 3-point line.

Nkamhoua’s top priority is to play in the NBA and wants to make that happen as quickly as possible. However, returning for one more season in college could be his best bet to one day playing professionally.

In addition, West Virginia has found ways to compensate foreign-born players with NIL deals using methods that other schools have not yet been able to do. The Mountaineers landed Kerr Kriisa, who was born in Estonia, and Jesse Edwards, who was born in The Netherlands, reportedly paying both players more than their previous schools (Arizona and Syracuse, respectively) could pay them.

If West Virginia can manage to secure a commitment from Nkamhoua, they would add to an already impressive, talented roster heading into the 2023-2024 season. One issue that the West Virginia coaching staff will have to overcome is convincing Nkamhoua to take a role on a potential championship team rather than being the star player. The starting lineup is already loaded and it’s very possible that Nkamhoua would have to come off the bench if he joins the team.