The West Virginia basketball athletic department has announced that, the NCAA has cleared Esa Ahmad and he will be eligible for the Texas Tech game on January 13th, in Lubbock.
West Virginia has been playing well in the absence of Ahmad, but will add some much-needed depth and fresh legs, in the heart of Big XII play.
It’s not just having to play hard for a full 40 minutes every conference game, but the amount of travel this team goes through, during conference play, “Our closest away game is 863 miles, I believe, that’s to Iowa State, but that’s to Des Moines then we have to bus another hour to get to the school.” Said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins after the Kansas State game. “We do this from our first conference game to our last”.
Ahmad has been through the gauntlet of the Big XII conference play, and know what it takes to compete night in night out to win games.
Esa is coming off a year averaging 11.3 points (48% FG/38,9% 3PT) and 4 rebounds per game.
There has been a lot of excitement surrounding Ahmad going into another season with the tutelage of future Hall of Fame coach Bob Huggins.
Esa is expected to be another leader on the floor and should add more offense to a team that’s has found somewhat of an offensive identity, in the first two games of the Big XII conference games.
Teddy Allen has been an offensive weapon around the rim, along with Lamont West. In the first two conference games, West and Allen have combined for an average of 33.5 points per game.
Esa will add versatility to a team that has won thirteen in a row, and has climbed to 6th in the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll.
There was no question that Esa was one of the best players returning to the team this year, and with this young West Virginia team playing better than expected and Esa’s return, the Mountaineers could make a serious push for the Big XII regular season title.
The Mountaineers have two more games before Esa’s is eligible, and both games are in Morgantown, #7 Oklahoma and Baylor.