West Virginia basketball received a commitment from Manhattan transfer Jose Perez on Sunday night. WV Sports Now spoke with Perez about his crazy week and recruitment to West Virginia.
“Coach Huggins was calling me 2-3 times per day. Literally right after practice, the exhibition game. Him and coach Jay [Kuntz] did an amazing job recruiting and they gave me their word,” he said.
Perez entered the transfer portal on Tuesday after Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello was dismissed from his duties, leaving the entire team without their head coach two weeks before the season starts. Perez made it known on social media that Masiello is his coach and he was extremely disappointed with what the university decided on. This past week has been rough for Perez.
“There was a lot going on [this week],” Perez said. “It was really difficult to take it in because there was just too much going on. My head was all over the place.”
Many schools made a pursuit for the New York native. Perez chose West Virginia over Georgia Tech, Louisville, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina State and TCU. The MAAC Preseason Player of the Year was heavily recruited during the five days in the transfer portal. Other programs like Memphis, Oregon, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Texas, Alabama and many more reached out to Perez.
For Perez, it was the honesty from Bob Huggins that won him over.
“He just said he liked my style of play,” Perez said. “Just being able to play make, score for myself, create shots for others but I feel like in my opinion what I do best is make other players better.”
Perez spent the last season at Manhattan, averaging 18.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists. The guard shot 40 percent from the field, 26 percent from three and 80 percent from the free-throw line. Before his time at Manhattan, Perez played for Gardner-Webb and Marquette.
“I have won at every level. Just a winner, I see myself as a winner. I do whatever it takes,” Perez said. “I came in as a freshman at Gardner-Webb, directly to the tournament. I know how to win.”
Perez tells WV Sports Now that he will be eligible to play for West Virginia this season, starting around Big 12 Conference play. Perez also mentioned that he will be in Morgantown by next week with the team.
“Just got to get after it every day bringing a winning tradition back to Morgantown,” Perez said.