MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – WVU head coach Bob Huggins told the media on Friday morning that he met with the current group of freshmen about helping rebuild the program. Huggins said that the meeting went well and it seems as they are all committed.
Huggins was asked about if he thinks the freshman class will stick around and develop together. The Hall of Fame finalist had nothing but positive words to say about the meeting.
“I met with all of them yesterday and heard nothing but [commitment] from them,” Huggins said.
Freshmen Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson, Jamel King and James Okonkwo have all had up-and-down seasons as first-year players. The group hasn’t really seen the floor much, but Johnson and Wilson do appear in most of the games.
Wilson has really started to come along nicely for West Virginia, as the guard has seen his minutes rise over the last month. The Lorain, Ohio, native caught the coaching staff’s attention during the Baylor game in Waco, when Wilson shot 2-of-3 from three, hitting a buzzer-beater at the end of the first half to get the Mountaineers back into the game. Wilson is averaging 2.1 points in 18 games played this season.
Johnson has already seen multiple starts as a Mountaineer, being placed into the starting lineup four times over the course of this season. With an average of nine minutes per game, Johnson has slowly shown his maturity on the floor. Johnson is seemingly hesitant at times, but rarely makes the “freshman” mistake. The other Ohio guard has shown that when he’s going, he can get on a roll. A lot of the times Johnson scores, it is on a self run. During the Kansas State game in Morgantown, Johnson hit back-to-back field goals to cut the deficit. Johnson is averaging 1.6 points on 38 percent shooting from the field.
King has appeared in eight games, recording 12 minutes against Texas, in Austin. Okonkwo has had a crazy first season at West Virginia, as the England native wasn’t supposed to come to campus until 2023. Once he has arrived on campus after reclassifying, Okonkwo has dealt with on and off injures, as Huggins plans to use a medical redshirt on him. Okonkwo has appeared in three games, dunking a ball against Radford.
Fifth-year senior guard Taz Sherman has given these freshmen advice all season telling them to stick it out.
“I remember telling them at the beginning of the year to not worry about your minutes now. If you’re not getting the minutes you want, just wait,” Sherman said.
This freshman class has a ton of potential to really rebuild the basketball program. If they can stick together and buy-in to Huggins, the sky is the limit.