Is West Virginia’s Missing Piece RaeQuan Battle?
Montana State guard RaeQuan Battle gave his commitment to West Virginia on Wednesday afternoon. Battle (6-foot-5) leaves MSU after averaging 17.7 points for an NCAA Tournament team.
Is Battle the missing piece for next year’s Mountaineer team?
Battle was the leading scorer for the Bobcats, shooting 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. Battle, an All-Big Sky First Team recipient, had his moments like scoring 27 points against Kansas State in the tournament or his 32-point performance in a road win against Sacramento State. Battle’s average of shot attempts doubled from his junior to senior seasons but the Washington native came through when needed for Montana State.
Obviously with future teammates like Kerr Kriisa, Jose Perez, Tre Mitchell, Jesse Edwards and Joe Toussaint, Battle’s usage rate will not be as high as it was at Montana State. Battle joins a talented core that’s in need of an athletic guard who can score on all three levels of the floor.
Battle is an average defender, as rated sixth on Montana State’s roster in defense, according to EvanMiya’s individual rating. It appears that West Virginia’s staff is recruiting offensive skilled players to teach them defensive ability, with the exception to Edwards.
Battle is the missing two-guard that is needed for this West Virginia team. Perez, who sat out last season after transferring from Manhattan, has a similar style to Battle but can playmake more for his teammates. Battle has proven this past season to shoot better than Perez from the perimeter. WVU should use Battle as a scoring two-guard and run Perez at the three in a point forward-type role.
Before Montana State, Battle played two seasons at Washington under head coach Mike Hopkins. Battle played a season with former WVU G Erik Stevenson. Battle averaged 4.8 points in 34 games over the span of his freshman and sophomore seasons. Battle was recruited out of high school as a 4-star prospect, top-100 in the class of 2019.
Battle has one year of eligibility remaining.
With the addition of Battle, West Virginia has no scholarship spots remaining. Big man Jimmy Bell is still deciding between football and basketball, which seems to get figured out soon.