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Eilert Comments on Coaching vs. Former WVU F Jalen Bridges



Jalen Bridges
Julia Mellett / WVSN

Baylor F Jalen Bridges will be making his second return to the WVU Coliseum against his former team on Saturday. West Virginia interim HC Josh Eilert coached Bridges from 2019-22 before his departure to Big 12 foe Baylor. Eilert was asked during Friday’s press conference if it’s still weird coaching against Bridges.

“It is a little bit. I saw Jalen in Kansas City at the Big 12 media days. I always had a wonderful relationship with Jalen. I was excited to see him and give him a hug. I have no ill will towards Jalen by any means. I don’t think he has any ill will towards me,” Eilert said.

“In this business you want your guys to succeed one way or another,” Eilert added. “I care about Jalen and I hope he does well as long as it’s not against the Mountaineers.”

Eilert went on to talk about what Bridges is doing for Scott Drew and the Bears this season. Bridges is averaging 10.8 points and 4.6 rebounds for Baylor through 24 games. Bridges is shooting 46% from the field and 40% from three.

“He’s playing his role for them and playing at a high level. He’s a guy that will play his role extremely well and shoot that basketball when he’s open,” Eilert said.

Bridges attended Fairmont Senior High School, contributing to consecutive West Virginia State Class AA Title appearances. Bridges was a four-star prospect coming out of high school, committing to WVU and staying home. Bridges spent two seasons playing at West Virginia, becoming a full-time starter for a year and a half. Bridges averaged 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds through 61 games for the Mountaineers.

Bridges entered the transfer portal in March 2022, leaving WVU for Baylor. Bridges averaged 10.3 points and 5.6 rebounds on 50 percent shooting from the field. The Fairmont native returned to Morgantown to play his former school in January 2023. Bridges recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

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