Tuesday, Bob Huggins took to the podium and addressed the media on the status of the Mountaineers men’s basketball team as the season draws ever-closer. Among the litany of positive nuggets that the future Hall-of-Famer dropped, one of the most intriguing was that of the progress of freshman Miles “Deuce” McBride. “Miles is playing great”, Huggs offered up unabashedly. “If we were playing today, Deuce would see a lot of playing time. He’s gotten stronger, he’s making shots, he defends.”
McBride, hailing from Cincinnati’s Archbishop Moeller, enrolled earlier this year and was along for the ride when West Virginia traveled to Spain this summer for a series of exhibition games. Across the pond, the 6’2″ guard found himself thrust into action early and often- and he delivered. After tallying multiple double-digits lines against European competition, along with pulling down his share of rebounds and even forcing a few now-trademarked turnovers, it seems as if the true freshman is pushing for serious playing time entering 2019. A year ago, Jordan McCabe led a troupe of untested freshman into Big 12 play purely out of desperation thanks to a rash of team attrition. It’s an entirely different story in 2019, as Huggins has assembled a much more experienced and altogether talented team, which makes McBride’s emergence all the more exciting.
As Michael Gresko detailed back in August, McBride could very well have pursued football at the next level as he was previously one of the better up-and-coming QB prospects in the state of Ohio. Now fully-invested in life on the hardwood, McBride stands out in West Virginia’s backcourt due to his size, build and speed. Simply put, he’s an athlete with good ball skills and, given his progress right out of the gate, a very high celing. While it’s too early to see how the rotation beyond the starting five shakes out, it seems as though McBride, along with fellow newcomer Taz Sherman, could provide a substantial spark off the bench for a West Virginia team that is bracing for a loaded 2019-2020 slate. Moreover, the prospective depth chart behind starting PG Jordan McCabe suggests that there’s even a navigable path to a starting spot. It might seem a bold prediction on the outset, but Huggins isn’t one to play favorites and McBride seems to have everything he needs to make that push.
You’ll want to keep your eye on the guy in the no. 4 jersey this season.
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