WVU Basketball Position Preview: More Production Needed from Point Guards
Point guard could end up being West Virginia’s thinnest position during the 2020-21 season.
The Mountaineers only have three primary ball handlers on the roster entering the season, junior Jordan McCabe, sophomore Miles ‘Deuce’ McBride and junior college transfer Kedrian Johnson. What the Mountaineers may lack in depth, however, they could make up for in talent.
Returners (2019-20 Stats):
Jordan McCabe – junior: (13.5 minutes per game, 3.1 points per game, 1.21 Assists to turnover ratio)
McCabe is one of WVU’s most experienced players entering his junior season. He is one of three third-year Mountaineers on the team this season. After a promising end to his freshman season, McCabe suffered through a season-long sophomore slump last season.
He averaged only 3.1 points per game and shot 31.1% from the floor and just 20.9% from three. McCabe started 29 of the team’s 31 but averaged only 13.5 minutes per game. By the end of the season, McCabe’s playing time had been completely overtaken by McBride.
Despite his struggles as a sophomore, WVU coach Bob Huggins has said McCabe’s shooting should be better in 2020-21.
“Jordan shot it poorly for Jordan last year,” Huggins said. “He did a great job this summer. He sent me videos of his shot to try and talk him through some of the things I thought would help him… He’s shooting the ball really well, he’s just not shooting it a lot. When you’ve got Taz [Sherman] on a wing and you’ve got Sean [McNeil] on a wing, you probably ought to throw it to them. I think Jordan’s shot it very well.”
WATCH: Bob Huggins on WVU’s New Recruits, Staying Healthy this Season
Miles “Deuce” McBride – sophomore: (22.2 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 1.37 A/TO)
McBride came to WVU as a true freshman last season following an injury-riddled high school career. He started the season as the primary backup to McCabe, developing into WVU’s top bench scorer as the season went on.
McBride’s first breakout game came in the Cancun Challenge against Northern Iowa. After trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, McBride led all scorers with 18 points as the Mountaineers completed the comeback to win the game. McBride also scored 22 points in Cleveland when West Virginia upset then-no. 2 ranked Ohio State.
Entering 2020-21, Huggins said McBride has improved since last season and will be able to do more than just score as a point guard.
“Deuce has gotten better and better,” Huggins said. “You’re talking about a guy who really missed the vast majority of his high school career because of the ankle. He’ll continue to work on the things he doesn’t do well and will continue to get better and better at them.”
WATCH: Bob Huggins Talks About WVU’s First Week of Practice
Kedrian Johnson – junior: Temple College (JUCO)
Johnson joins West Virginia for this season after a stellar two-year junior college career at Temple College in Temple, Texas. He finished fourth in the nation last season, scoring 25.5 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists.
Johnson described himself as more of a ball-handler right now but is working to transition his offensive game to the Division I level.
“Right now I’m more of a ball-handler, but they want me to score more because of what I did in junior college,” Johnson said. “But I’m taking the time to get comfortable before going by to my junior college self.”
WATCH: Bridges, Johnson and McBride on What They are Working on for This Season
Brandon Knapper – Transfer, Eastern Kentucky