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Huggins Does Not Need to Rush 2021 Recruiting

Cody Nespor

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Bob Huggins has been relatively quiet on the 2021 recruiting front. According to 247Sports, Huggins has made six scholarship offers and had one commitment, guard Seth Wilson, and that’s it. For comparison, nearby Jeff Capel at Pitt has made 18 offers for the 2021 class, albeit without any commitments yet.

The NCAA mandated dead period of recruiting due to the coronavirus outbreak has certainly played some role in this quiet, especially for an old-school coach like Huggins, but the fact of the matter is, Huggins isn’t in a rush for the 2021 class because he does not have to be.

West Virginia had all of its scholarships filled for the 2019-20 season. With the graduations of Jermaine Haley, Chase Harler and Logan Routt, the transfer of Brandon Knapper and Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver not leaving for the NBA, that left four scholarships open for the 2020-21 season.

Huggins had already filled three of those spots, bringing in scholarship players Isiah Cotrell, Taj Thweat and Kedrian Johnson. That leaves Huggins with one scholarship he could use to add a graduate transfer for next season, although Huggins has talked about just not filling it unless he can find the right fit.

Assuming Huggins does not fill this final scholarship for 2020-21, the outlook for the 2021 recruiting class is not dire. Along with that one open scholarship, WVU will have at least two other open spots available with the graduations of 2020-21 seniors Gabe Osabuohien and Taz Sherman. Those two will be the only seniors on next season’s team and as such will be the only two that will, for sure, be leaving.

That is three open scholarship spots the team will have to fill for 2021, however, Huggins already has the previously mentioned Wilson committed in the 2021 class, leaving only two spots open now. This is assuming, of course, that no one other than the graduating seniors were to leave. With Tshiebwe having already submitted his name to the NBA draft once, it is a real possibility that he could turn professional after his sophomore season, the same is true for Culver, who has had attention from the NBA in the past.

Even assuming the worst, that both Tshiebwe and Culver leave for the NBA after next season, that leaves Huggins with four scholarships to fill and three bigs to replace, including Osabuohien. Huggins seems to have prepared for this situation, however. Excluding Wilson, four of the other five 2021 recruits Huggins has offered stand over 6-foot-7, with two over 6-foot-10.

There are a lot of scenarios that could happen next season regarding who could or could not turn pro and who could or could not transfer, but no matter what, it appears now that Huggins will not have to scramble and replace a big chunk of the team as he did after the 2018-19 season. Knowing that it seems Huggins is content taking 2021 recruiting one step at a time.

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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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