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Depth Could be a Double-Edged Sword for West Virginia this Season

Cody Nespor

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Mountaineer basketball team is going to be good at a few different things in 2019-20.

Shooting and rebounding are two areas where this team is expected to excel, but a more hidden strength to the team this year may be its depth.

During his press conference Thursday afternoon, head coach Bob Huggins said he does not think a lot of teams will be able to handle WVU’s depth this season.

“If we went out and played really hard, I don’t think people’s going to have the depth that we have, particularly on the perimeter,” Huggins said. “We’ve got three guys that can play the point, maybe four guys if you count Jermaine (Haley). So I think that position is loaded. The good thing is, those guys can also play off the ball.”

Sophomore Jordan McCabe looks to be West Virginia’s starting point guard this year, but behind him are newcomer Miles McBride and returner Brandon Knapper. Haley could also be used at the point, as Huggins said.

While having quality depth players is good because it allows a team to stay rested and have an even rotation, there are some drawbacks.

“It’s great to have a lot of depth, but it’s not great to have a lot of depth because now you’re subbing guys in and out and you don’t have five guys out there who are comfortable with each other yet,” Huggins explained.

Huggins also said trying to find playing time for everyone could have adverse effects as well.

“I don’t care who you are, in the back of your mind you’re like, ‘what did I do wrong?’ (when you get sent to the bench),” Huggins said. “In reality, it’s not doing something wrong, it’s a giving a guy some minutes so that he can improve.”

Huggins said who plays when this season is going to be a matter of how each game is going and who is having a good night.

The Mountaineer’s first game of the season will be Friday night at home against the Akron Zips. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. in the WVU Coliseum.

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Cody is currently a second-year graduate student at West Virginia University studying journalism. His graduate research focuses on the effects newspaper closures have on local communities. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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