Morgantown, West Virginia – While the West Virginia Mountaineers are currently 11-1 heading into Big 12 Conference play, the team has looked less than impressive during the majority of their victories, and although it’s a bit early to look ahead to the future of this team, the 2022-2023 version of the Mountaineers looks shockingly dreadful.
Following this season, West Virginia will lose seniors Taz Sherman (20.9 points per game), Sean McNeil (14.0 ppg), Malik Curry (6.8 ppg), Kedrian Johnson (4.8 ppg), Gabe Osabuohien (4.3 ppg), Pauly Paulicap (3.7 ppg) and Dimon Carrigan (2.4 ppg).
That’s 56.9 points out of 70.4 points per game, or 81% of the team’s scoring this season, lost next season. In addition, that’s also 63% of the the current rebounds lost.
The only players remaining will be Jalen Bridges, Isaiah Cottrell, Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson, Taj Thweatt, James Okonkwo, Jamel King and Seny N’Diaye.
While talented three star recruits Josiah Harris, Josiah Davis and Pat Suemnick will eventually be contributors for the Mountaineers in the future, it’s extremely unlikely that they’ll be able to step in immediately and perform at a high level.
With that said, Bob Huggins will have to be particularly active in finding players in the transfer portal, something he’s still learning to do effectively. Huggins, the ultimate old school head coach, is not fond of using the portal to fill holes temporarily on his team.
Huggins has had success in recent years in bringing in quality JUCO players (see: Taz Sherman, Sean McNeil), but JUCO players having the kind of success Sherman and McNeil have is rare and certainly not the norm.
Next season appears to be an almost certain down year for the Mountaineers. Perhaps Jalen Bridges will become far more aggressive in a leadership role, maybe Isaiah Cottrell will be fully recovered from his terrible injury last season, and maybe Bob Huggins finds a hidden JUCO gem or lands a big-time transfer, but there are an awful lot of question marks looking ahead to next season.