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Frontcourt Depth Needs Focus with WVU’s Last Spot



West Virginia's Transfer Portal

WVU’s last spot on the basketball roster has yet to be filled after the coaching staff retooled the team once again this offseason. West Virginia currently only has Syracuse transfer Jesse Edwards at the center position and needs to address the depth at that position.

What’s the latest on the available bigs West Virginia contacted in the last month?

Memphis transfer Malcolm Dandridge and UCLA transfer Mac Etienne are the latest bigs to be contacted by WVU. Both players were reached out to three weeks ago with the coaching staff completing a Zoom call with Etienne. It seems that both Dandridge and Etienne are out one way or another. Dandridge, who is dealing with an injury, may return to Memphis or go elsewhere. All parties have not brought up Etienne’s name in a few weeks after the Zoom.

Just after contacting the remaining portal prospects, WVU’s staff went a creative route going after international players. Israeli forward Ofri Naveh reportedly committed to WVU on Friday. Naveh is a 6-foot-7 player with four years of eligibility. West Virginia reached out to Egyptian big man Abdullah Ahmed, but he told WV Sports Now that he was selected in the NBA G-League draft. Kentucky is another school that had been linked to Ahmed.

So what does the coaching staff do now? The answer is not much but wait for a player to enter the transfer portal. Some college basketball players are completing their undergraduate degrees this summer, which would make them eligible to transfer anywhere for the upcoming season without having to sit out. Coaches around the country are keeping an eye on who’s set to graduate.

If WVU doesn’t grab someone to backup Edwards, they may look for another wing player to improve the depth. If the season started today you would see Quinn Slazinski or Pat Suemnick having to play the five. Josiah Harris and perhaps even Jose Perez would be used at the four in certain circumstances.

West Virginia, regardless of how they fill the final spot, should commit to playing small ball.

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