The Mountaineers added their third junior college recruit to the 2019 class when Ethan Richardson signed with WVU last week. The 6’10” big man is a native of Madera, CA and has two years of eligibility remaining but does not have a redshirt intact. His signing leaves WVU with two of their entitled thirteen scholarships remaining with one expected to be given to senior walk-on Logan Routt.
Richardson attended Madera High School located in the San Joaquin Valley, about 25 miles northwest of the city of Fresno. He was three-time team MVP and is the school’s single season and all-time career leading scorer. Despite averaging 24 points and 6 rebounds per game as a junior and 27 points and 12 rebounds as a senior, he had no offers coming out of high school. As a result, he spent his freshman year at the City College of San Francisco and averaged 11.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game but only played in eight games. He spent his academic sophomore year at Reedley College but did not play basketball. Richardson then returned to his basketball career this past season, putting up numbers of 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds at Fresno City College. The big man has taken a winding path to WVU but now will test his mettle against Big 12 competition.
Many comparisons have been drawn between Richardson and Andrew Gordon as they are both under recruited big men who WVU found by combing through the JUCO ranks. However, that is where the similarities largely end. Richardson is a skilled back-to-the-basket center who served as the focal point for the offense at Fresno CC. He was also noted for quality passing abilities, often locating teammates for open shots out of double teams in the low post. While not a notable shot blocker, his defensive abilities are sufficient and should be enough to get himself on the floor. Richardson should provide a low post offensive option off the bench that WVU lacked in the 2018-19 season.
Mountaineer fans should not expect Ethan Richardson to immediately come in to WVU and be a double-double producer right away like Derek Culver. However, he will have a good chance to provide support as a depth post player on a young, talented team. Richardson definitely adds an injection of skill to an already talented group of big men for the WVU basketball team.