Bock: Jose Perez’s Decision to Return Can Cause Domino Effect
West Virginia basketball received their first decision from the upcoming fifth-year seniors as Jose Perez announced his return to the Mountaineers. Perez hasn’t played a single minute for WVU yet but has experienced a tough year sitting out as a transfer.
“Mountaineer nation, let’s run it back,” Perez said in a video.
Perez appears locked in and committed to being a part of another transfer portal retooling job by WVU’s staff. West Virginia looks to return a better core than last offseason. The Manhattan transfer could’ve gone anywhere for his final season of eligibility. Perez didn’t have to stay and suit up for the Mountaineers next season; he wouldn’t have had to sit out again.
Perhaps Perez knows some good news is coming? It wasn’t a surprise to many that Perez would return but maybe this is the start of a domino effect for WVU. It could be news of Joe Toussaint, Tre Mitchell and Jimmy Bell announcing their returns as well, as the trio have the option to use their extra COVID year. It could also be great news of a decision made by Arizona transfer guard Kerr Kriisa, who visited from March 25-27. It appears that Kriisa is heavily considering West Virginia, Xavier and Nebraska.
The domino effect could also result in departures. Perez is another player on the roster that’s new next season. Naturally in the transfer portal era, you could see someone leave because of this.
This reminds me of WVU receiving a commitment from Erik Stevenson last offseason, which started a chain of transfers committing to the Mountaineers. Within a few weeks after Stevenson’s commitment, West Virginia picked up Emmitt Matthews, Mitchell, Toussaint, Mohamed Wague and Bell. Stuff like this now becomes the new normal in college basketball.
For Perez, he has gone through a lot in the last half year, he deserves to have a full season to play at the highest level of the game.
Steve Masiello, Perez’s head coach at Manhattan gets fired two weeks before the season started. Perez and a few other Jaspers entered the transfer portal hoping to get on teams quickly. Perez committed to WVU over other Power-5 programs just five days later and looked to play his final year this past season. After transferring late, Perez was able to enroll for the spring semester but the NCAA did not care. Perez was denied his eligibility to play in the spring and even had the appeal denied as well.
Perez will bring scoring to a team next year that hasn’t been fully put together.
Perez spent the last season at Manhattan, averaging 18.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists. The guard shot 40 percent from the field, 26 percent from three and 80 percent from the free-throw line. Before his time at Manhattan, Perez played for Gardner-Webb and Marquette.
“I have won at every level. Just a winner, I see myself as a winner. I do whatever it takes,” Perez said back in October. “I came in as a freshman at Gardner-Webb, directly to the tournament. I know how to win.”
Perez has the chance to become next season’s leader and his committed shown to the program can be the beginning of good news to come.