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WVU G Kerr Kriisa Talks Coaching Change, Says Huggins Has His Back



Kerr Kriisa

What an offseason West Virginia basketball has had. WVU has retooled their roster twice, lost Hall of Fame coach Bob Huggins to resignation and dealt with much off-the-court drama. From a player’s perspective, new WVU G Kerr Kriisa dealt with multiple open recruitments.

Kriisa spoke to the media for the first time this season and talked about the coaching transition from Huggins to interim HC Josh Eilert. Kriisa committed to Huggins but re-opened his recruitment after the resignation.

“It was a messy week for sure. I committed to coach Bob Huggins and when he was gone, I felt everybody deserved a chance to recruit me again, including Josh Eilert. I need to make sure how Josh needs [of] me and wants to do here,” he said.

When visiting WVU, Huggins was Kriisa’s tour guide, as the two drove around Morgantown. Kriisa could tell that Huggins was a loyal guy when he pulled out his beat-up, old truck. Even though Huggins will never coach Kriisa on the floor, the 6-foot-3 guard will keep a relationship with the former West Virginia coach.

“I got to give all credit to Bob Huggins too. After everything went down, Bob told me he’d be here for me, whatever I needed,” Kriisa said. “That made me feel very comfortable that even though he’s not around the team, he’s still going to be here in Morgantown and be here for me.”

Kriisa entered the transfer portal in March, leaving Arizona after three seasons. The native of Estonia played one season under Sean Miller and two under Tommy Lloyd. Kriisa was one of the most sought-after point guard recruits, averaging 9.9 points and 5.1 assists on 37% three-point shooting.

There’s no ill will between Kriisa and Arizona. Kriisa just wanted a fresh start and thought West Virginia was the best option for his final two years of eligibility.

“The reason why I left Arizona [is] I felt that it was time to move on,” Kriisa said. “Like I said, I had three great years there under coach Sean Miller and coach Tommy Lloyd. I still love those dudes still now. There was no beef.”

For Eilert and West Virginia, they weren’t going to hold Kriisa back from exploring his options. They were going to fight and re-recruit Kriisa if he wanted to stay a Mountaineer.

“I wasn’t going to hold them back by any means. Each school has different philosophies on how quickly they put [the paperwork] in. I think there’s a certain time period that they have to have to [submit the portal entry],” Eilert said last week. “They asked me and I said if that’s their wishes, put them in. I’m not trying to hold anything back. If West Virginia is where they want to be ultimately, I’ll re-recruit them. I’ll go back after them and sell them the fact that we have a vision here, a foundation that we’re building, we’re going to do things the right way and we’re going to have a special year.”

Kriisa will enter his senior season with a new team for the first time in his collegiate career. Kriisa’s role has increased as the season gets closer to beginning.

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