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WVU Basketball Recruiting

Final Scholarship a Matter of ‘Fit’ for Huggins and WVU

Cody Nespor

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West Virginia coach Bob Huggins has one scholarship available for next season and he is in no particular hurry to use it.

“We’re actually in great shape,” Huggins said on a video conference Monday morning. “There’s probably very few people that have the number of guys coming back returning that we have.”

WVU had three seniors graduate and one player transfer after last season, but Huggins has already signed three newcomers, leaving just one scholarship still open. As everything stands right now, West Virginia would have 10 returning players for 2020-21.

“We signed three guys early and they all have done really well,” Huggins said. “So the three seniors that we lost, they were already replaced. Brandon Knapper decided to transfer so we have one scholarship so we’re kind of sitting here twiddling our thumbs, basically…I think with us it’s important that, if we take another guy, that he fits.”

With the 10 returners, WVU will be bringing in JUCO transfer Kedrian Johnson and true freshmen Taj Thweatt and Isaiah Cottrell on scholarship. The team will also be adding walk-on Jay Moore.

Huggins made it clear that the biggest thing he is looking at in bringing in another player is how that guy would fit in with the current team.

I just want to make 100% sure they fit in,” Huggins said. “I think we’ve got a great chemistry right now. (The players) generally like each other, they hang out together, they enjoy being around each other, I don’t know how you get a better situation than what we have right now.”

Huggins also said he is not fully committed to even filling the final scholarship spot, saying he could just pocket it for next year if they do not find the right player.

“It’s kind of like fishing,” Huggins explained. “You go out there finishing and if you catch a really good crappie, you probably keep him, or if you catch a really good largemouth or smallmouth or walleye. If the ones that you catch aren’t very good then you can always toss them back in and tell them to grow up. We have an opportunity to (be selective) for the first time in a long, long time.”

Not having to fill the spot has made the process easier according to Huggins.

“I’m not concerned about it, because if we don’t (sign someone), we don’t. We’re not going to be able to play 13 guys anyway. In a lot of ways, it makes our decisions a little easier.”

Huggins said WVU has been looking around, talking to a few players he would consider bringing in. Through reports, Huggins seemed to like Radford’s Carlik Jones before he committed to Louisville and seems to currently be interested in Ohio State’s Luther Muhammad.

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Cody is currently a second-year graduate student at West Virginia University studying journalism. His graduate research focuses on the effects newspaper closures have on local communities. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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