Yesterday, West Virginia head basketball coach Bob Huggins addressed the media as his team prepares to kickoff practice this Friday for the upcoming season. One of the many questions surrounding the team is the eligibility of Arkansas transfer Gabe Osabuohien.
Normally, this wouldn’t even be much of a discussion, but according to Bob Huggins there may be a chance that he is granted immediate eligibility. “Honestly, I think if you have any reason whatsoever, seemingly you get a waiver. Unless there’s strong opposition to it, I think they want to help people achieve their goals instead of holding them back, which they were accused of before.”
Osabuohien was dismissed from the Arkansas program in mid-August and enrolled at West Virginia a short six days later.
This was the statement released from Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman, “We have set a level of expectations for our student-athletes on and off the court. After discussions with Gabe, it was decided that it would be best to part ways. We thank him for his time at Arkansas and wish him well.”
Coach Huggins didn’t necessarily come out and say that he believes he will be granted a waiver, but there seems to be a feeling that there is a possibility. The NCAA is very inconsistent with how it handles transfers and who is awarded a waiver and who is forced to sit. So, without a set criteria, your guess is as good as the head coach’s.
So aside from the uncontrollable, what type of player is West Virginia getting with Osabuohien? Coach Huggins explains, “He plays really really hard. That’s the thing looking at him on film is that he plays really hard. He’s a big who can bounce it, which is I think a great weapon to have. He’s a guy that can catch it and drive it and draw fouls. He’s strong, he’s aggressive. For an extended period of time he can guard on the perimeter better than any big we have.”
With Osabuohien potentially becoming eligible, it adds a fourth man to the frontcourt and puts the Mountaineers in a good situation depth-wise to be able to rotate bigs throughout the course of a game. Huggins also mentioned how they could go back to applying more pressure on the ball although it likely wouldn’t be of the “Press Virginia” variety.
There is no timeline for when West Virginia will hear word from the NCAA, but expect a ruling to be made sometime within the next 3-5 weeks.
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