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How Does WVU Basketball Retool Their Roster Again?



Josh Eilert
Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

WVU’s Josh Eilert is in his third week as the program’s interim head coach. After a couple of weeks of chaos with Bob Huggins and five transfer portal departures in the middle of the summer, Eilert’s staff have their hands full. There are no breaks for West Virginia’s coaches this summer.

West Virginia will continue to retool their roster late into the summer. The Mountaineers recently picked up Florida State transfer guard Jeremiah Bembry, who has four years of eligibility. Bembry is the ninth player on WVU’s roster, with four more spots to fill.

How does West Virginia find the missing pieces this late?

College basketball players enter the transfer portal throughout all 12 months. Now with the transfer windows in place, some will take the risk of needing a wavier. Graduate transfers, who don’t need a waiver, can enter at any point and play right away. As the summer semester starts to head towards its end, expect players that will graduate to enter the transfer portal once they know they’re safe.

Harvard and Tennessee transfer Chris Ledlum re-entered the portal on Thursday. WVU’s Director of Recruiting Jay Kuntz contacted Ledlum back in March when he originally entered. Ledlum, who is now a grad transfer, averaged 18.8 points and 8.5 rebounds. On day one of his portal entry, St. John’s emerged as an early favorite. Ledlum listed SJU in his original final five schools. Ledlum is one example of grad transfers that will enter in the summer.

West Virginia will rely on graduate transfers to enter as they methodically recruit the portal in July. It is no longer a speed dating game like it usually is in the spring with the portal. Now WVU is waiting to jump on anybody that enters while not many other schools are recruiting.

WVU also may look to add a high school prospect. Not many 2023 recruits as left but this could be a time for some 2024 kids to reclassify one year up and join a collegiate team earlier. West Virginia has offered many four-star prospects in the 2024 class, most recently hosting forward AJ Swinton for a visit.

It may seem like West Virginia needs to pick up the pace, but in reality they need to move at the pace that the portal takes them.

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