As all the West Virginia basketball players are officially on campus, it’s time to start thinking ahead about what the potential starting lineup and rotation will be. WVU head coach Bob Huggins and his coaching staff will return five Mountaineers while bringing in eight new players from the transfer portal, Junior College and high school.
With a new versatile group, Huggins can get creative with different types of lineups. West Virginia can play big or small, it’s all up to opposing matchups.
WVSN’s PROJECTED WVU BASKETBALL LINEUP:
JOE TOUSSAINT, G
KEDRIAN JOHNSON, G
ERIK STEVENSON, G
EMMITT MATTHEWS JR., F
TRE MITCHELL, C
Off the bench: Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson, Jamel King, Jimmy Bell Jr., Mohamed Wague, James Okonkwo, Josiah Harris and Patrick Suemnick
This is what I see the lineup looking like right now as the team has many question marks. A backcourt of Joe Toussaint and Kedrian Johnson is interesting since both are great at annoying the opposing guards. Between Toussaint and Johnson, they combined for 103 steals, being on different teams. If WVU moves Johnson to the 2-spot, it seems like it could be a more natural position for the Texas native. Toussaint’s assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.3, which was one of the best in the country. The Iowa transfer should control the offense with West Virginia.
There’s always a possibility that either Jimmy Bell Jr., Mohamed Wague or James Okonkwo enter themselves into the starting lineup to pair up with Tre Mitchell. This is the coaching staff’s chance to figure out if they want two bigs in the paint again. After Oscar Tshiebwe transferred, having Derek Culver surrounded by two guards and two wings was the perfect situation. Last season, WVU had no choice trying to do the same with Isaiah Cottrell, who took the whole year to adjust and find his role.
It’s only June so there’s a lot of time for one of the other big men to develop and earn themselves minutes as the season gets closer. For now, I think West Virginia plays small ball next season.
WV Sports Now will keep up to date with the latest recruiting and transfer portal news during the offseason.