MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After months of uncertainty, junior forward Gabe Osabuohien will finally be able to play for the Mountaineers.
Osabuohien has been waiting for the NCAA to make a decision on his transfer waiver, which was finally accepted on Wednesday.
Osabuohien transferred to WVU after being dismissed from Arkansas in June.
At 6-foot-8 Osabuohien will enter WVU’s big man rotation with Derek Culver, Oscar Tshiebwe and Logan Routt. Head coach Bob Huggins said he adds a new dimension to WVU’s frontcourt.
“He gives us something I think we don’t have,” Huggins said. “He will be our best big to defend on the perimeter. When people try to go small, he’s a guy with size that can still go out and guard smaller guys. He also really bounces it pretty well. If we get a mismatch of bigger people trying to guard him, I think we’ll try and take advantage of his ball-handling skills.”
Osabuohien said he is different from the other bigs WVU has, but they will be able to play together.
“I’m a lot different than them because of what I can do at my size with guarding…I feel like I have a different passing element and I feel like I can guard (positions) one through four,” Osabuohien said. “I can play with them too so I feel like I fit in pretty good.”
Huggins wants to play two bigs at all times this season and with Osabuohien joining the rotation Huggins said that means Emmitt Matthews Jr. will no longer have to play minutes as a big man.
“We’ve been sometimes forced to downsize and pay Emmitt at the four…but that’s not really where he’s most effective, I think he’s most effective as a wing,” Huggins said. “(Osabuohien, Culver, Tshiebwe, Routt) are the four guys that are going to play those two positions.”
Huggins said Osabuohien will play right away against Boston University on Friday. Tip-off at the WVU Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.