Who Will Leave and Who Will Return Next Season?

Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers are entering the post season with big expectations.  A win against Oklahoma State would set up a potential matchup against the top-seeded Baylor Bears, and one win in the Big 12 Tournament would likely mean a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Mountaineers have a long and possible deep run coming over the next couple of weeks.  Following the season, seniors Gabe Osabuohien and Taz Sherman have an extra year of eligibility and will have the option of returning to Morgantown. Let’s take a look at the players on the current roster and their odds of returning to play for the Mountaineers next season.

Miles McBride – Deuce was receiving some attention from NBA scouts and Bob Huggins admitted that professional executives ask him about McBride before any other player on his team, but a toe injury late in the season has really hurt him down the stretch.  If McBride were to leave WVU and enter the draft after this season, I don’t see him being drafted.

A healthy junior season will put him in position to be drafted following next season.

Chances of returning: 90%

Sean McNeil – Unlike McBride, Sean McNeil likely doesn’t have NBA aspirations.  Instead, he will look to make money playing professionally overseas, where he will probably have a very long and productive career.  As a junior, McNeil could return for two more seasons and one more season with the Mountaineers seems almost certain.

Chances of returning: 95%

Emmitt Matthews, Jr. – Matthews could probably use a change of scenario, but he is a Huggins’ guy and I just don’t see him going anywhere.

Chances of returning: 90%

Jalen Bridges – Bridges has the brightest future of any player on the team.  He’s not going anywhere.  Expect an expanded role for Bridges next season that utilizes his ability to get to the basket and score.

Chances of returning: 100%

Derek Culver – Despite averaging a double-double in the Big 12 Conference, Culver has a lot of work to do to be considered a legit NBA prospect.  Consistent effort defensively and a mid-range/outside jump shot are needed before he even considers playing in the NBA.  He could play overseas immediately, but a return to WVU next year makes way more sense.

Chances of returning: 85%

Taz Sherman – Sherman has made no secret of the fact that he wants to make money now.  Although another year at West Virginia wouldn’t hurt him, it’s unlikely to change his future.  Sherman is an overseas professional player and regardless of what he does at WVU, that isn’t going to change.  Ultimately, he realizes this and decides to leave.

Chances of returning: 20%

Gabe Osabuohien – Again, an extra year at West Virginia is not going to change Osabuohien’s future.  Although he is an outstanding defensive player and rebounder, he’s undersized and not a strong enough offensive player.  With that said, Osabuohien would be wise to return for another season in Morgantown.

Chances of returning: 80%

Jordan McCabe – McCabe would probably have a more productive college career elsewhere, but he doesn’t seem like the kind of player that would give up on a situation.

Chances of returning: 90%

Kedrian Johnson – One of the top scorers in JUCO last season, this couldn’t be how Johnson expected this season to happen. Although he’s shown moments of real potential, he has to be extremely disappointed in his playing time and role on the team.

Chances of returning: 50%

Seny Ndiaye – Bright future as a shot-blocker and role player off the bench, Ndiaye will continue to develop and could play for the Mountaineers for another four seasons.

Chances of returning: 100%

Isaiah Cottrell – Huge future with the Mountaineers and has said multiple times that he’ll never transfer.  He’ll be back and better than ever next season.

Chances of returning: 100%

Taj Thweatt – Thweatt is a big-time athlete and has great length.  He could consider moving to a smaller program where he gets more playing time.

Chances of returning: 75%

Jay Moore – Like Thweatt, Moore could become frustrated with lack of playing time and decide to transfer.  It’s unlikely that he’ll receive any considerable minutes with the Mountaineers over the next couple of seasons.

Chances of returning: 75%

Spencer Macke – Fan favorite who is completely comfortable with his role on the team, Macke will end his college career with the Mountaineers.

Chances of returning: 100%