Morgantown, West Virginia – Although the West Virginia Mountaineers have no scholarships remaining for the upcoming 2022-2023 season, Bob Huggins and his coaching staff are far from finished adding pieces to the puzzle.
One major area of concern for the Mountaineers is interior play. The only returning inside player from last year’s team is James Okonkwo, who played ten total minutes and scored two points for the Mountaineers as a freshman last season.
Huggins added junior college forwards Pat Suemnick, Mohamed Wague and Jimmy Bell during the offseason, but all three are unproven against the big-time competition they will face in the Big 12 Conference.
Enter Tre Mitchell, a 6’9 forward/center originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who played for the Texas Longhorns last season. Prior to joining Texas, Mitchell was dominant at UMASS, where he averaged 18.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game as a sophomore. Last season, Mitchell’s production dropped dramatically, averaging 8.7 points and 4.0 rebounds, but he is an incredibly gifted athlete who would instantly be West Virginia’s most experienced, talented interior player.
After Mitchell entered the transfer portal following last season, West Virginia was one of the very first teams to reach out and show interest. In addition to West Virginia, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Mitchell has been heavily pursued by DePaul, Iowa, Washington State, Utah State and Vanderbilt, but it appears that the Mountaineers are the favorites to land his services as this point.
If Mitchell does decide to join West Virginia, it’s likely that one of the Mountaineers’ incoming freshman – Josiah Davis, a 6’1 point guard from Teays Valley Christian School in Scott Depot, West Virginia, or Josiah Harris, a 6’7 power forward from Cleveland, Ohio – could potentially be asked to attend prep school for a year before joining the team in 2023. It’s also possible that West Virginia could cut ties with Pat Suemnick or Jimmy Bell, who are seen as projects and not necessarily ready to produce immediately.
Landing Mitchell is only the beginning of West Virginia’s plans. Huggins and his staff have also been in contact with Courtney Ramey, a 6’3 guard who averaged 9.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals last season as Mitchell’s teammate for the Texas Longhorns.
If Huggins can pull both Mitchell and Ramey to West Virginia, the Mountaineers will go from a low-level Big 12 Conference team to a team that could potentially do some damage in the conference and nationally.
2022-2023 Lineup with Mitchell and Ramey
PG – Kedrian Johnson/Joe Toussaint
G – Erik Stevenson
G – Courtney Ramey
F – Emmitt Matthews, Jr.
F/C – Tre Mitchell