Last season, former forward Derek Culver gave it his all on the glass for West Virginia.
So much so that WVU HC Bob Huggins thinks Culver was the biggest loss of the offseason for the Mountaineers.
“Derek could get hard rebounds,” Huggins said. “Derek was big and strong, people couldn’t move him, he could move whoever he wanted to move. He got clutch rebounds and big rebounds at the end of games.”
Culver averaged 9.4 rebounds in the 2020-21 season, totaling to 799 rebounds in three seasons at West Virginia. The 6-foot-10 forward finished his career 14th on the all-time rebounding list at WVU.
The current players admitted to feeling guilty for always expecting Culver to get every rebound.
“You get so accustomed to him just getting everything,” ~Taz Sherman.
“I definitely felt that way. I’ve said countless times in interviews after games and stuff that we have to help DC [Culver] down there,” ~Jalen Bridges.
So, with Culver gone, who’s going to get the rebounds now?
“Everybody,” Sean McNeil said. “Pauly [Paulicap] is going to be huge for us. He’s an energizer bunny. He goes and gets everything. Taj [Thweatt] has been rebounding it really well. Dimon [Carrigan] blocks shots.”
“You’re going to be surprised,” McNeil added.
At DePaul, Pauly Paulicap averaged 6.1 rebounds in 22 minutes of play. As a comparison, Culver averaged 9.4 rebounds in 26 minutes of play, so Paulicap isn’t too far behind Culver in going to get the ball. Against St. John’s, the 6-foot-8 transfer forward pulled down 16 rebounds in a double-double effort. So, Paulicap has proven to be able to get rebounds.
Carrigan — the other transfer forward — coming out of Florida International, averaged 6.1 rebounds in 19 minutes in the 2020-21 season. Carrigan recorded three games of double-digit rebounding effort, with his season-high being 11 against North Florida.
Huggins has one job for these two transfers.
“Well, hopefully they can get a rebound or two,” Huggins said.
As Culver continues to pursue his professional aspirations, the Mountaineers will have to make a team effort at replacing his rebounding productivity this season.
(Top Photo: Gregg Ellman)