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‘He’s a Magician’: West Virginia Feels Momentum with Kerr Kriisa Return



West Virginia Basketball Kerr Kriisa
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

West Virginia starting point guard Kerr Kriisa returns to the court this Saturday against UMass after completing his nine-game suspension. Kriisa, who received unauthorized benefits while at Arizona, will make his debut for WVU in Massachusetts.

For West Virginia, it feels like season momentum is starting to shift their way. The Mountaineers returned Akok Akok to the floor this week after he was out for six weeks with a medical issue. If everything goes right in court, WVU could return RaeQuan Battle as well. Kriisa was a core piece in WVU’s transfer class this offseason featuring Jesse Edwards, Battle and others.

“That’s huge. Besides the obvious thing of saving legs. He’s a magician,” WVU G Seth Wilson said about Kriisa. “So having that presence back of a guy that’s going to get guys shots, just his presence on the floor is going to be huge for us.”

Wilson will be one of the guards to share the backcourt with Kriisa. It appears that West Virginia will pair Kriisa with Kobe Johnson in the starting lineup. Johnson started all nine games at the point guard position, filling in well during Kriisa’s absence.

During Kriisa suspension, the Arizona transfer has been practicing with the team. WVU’s interim HC Josh Eilert doesn’t expect Kriisa to take much time to mesh during his return.

“[Kerr] is a very intelligent basketball player. His IQ is off the charts in terms of basketball IQ,” Eilert said on Saturday. “He’s been doing everything with us from day one. Now a lot of it recently has been on scout team but he knows our plays inside and out. He can really be that coach on the floor.”

Kriisa averaged 9.9 points and 5.1 assists on 37% shooting from three last season for the Wildcats. Kriisa will look to provide offensive help for Edwards, Johnson and Quinn Slazinski. West Virginia will look to get back to .500 on Saturday as they take on UMass in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.

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