Morgantown, West Virginia –
January 11, 2023.
This could be the wildest, most intense, most dramatic game in recent history in the WVU Coliseum.
Jalen Bridges, the prodigal son, the Fairmont, West Virginia native, who decided to leave the West Virginia Mountaineers and transfer to the Baylor Bears following last season, will return home to play as an opposing player for the very first time.
When Bridges left the program, it felt like a betrayal to many. He grew up 20 minutes from the Coliseum, he was one of us, and instead of finishing his career with the Mountaineers, he chose to compete for a conference rival.
Bridges pulled no punches about the coaching staff in a podcast interview after announcing his transfer: “We had team meetings and we broke it down for the coaches,” Bridges said on The Final Fourcast. “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.”
In addition, Bridges said that he set up a meeting with West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins to “figure things out”, but Huggins didn’t show up for the scheduled meeting with him.
Bridges will likely be in the starting lineup for the Baylor Bears when they travel to the WVU Coliseum on January 11, 2023, and this is certainly a game that West Virginia fans will circle on their calendars.