WVU interim HC Josh Eilert met with the media on Wednesday, giving an update on the current roster after RaeQuan Battle’s waiver was denied.
Many have questioned the depth of this roster as West Virginia now has 10 scholarship players and a walk-on eligible to play. With a short rotation and the need of role players to take the next step up, Eilert answered if this team can be competitive in the Big 12.
“It’s going to be tough because the depth. Certainly a lot of the teams in the Big 12 have lot more athleticism than we do and they probably have a lot more depth. Do we have Big 12 caliber players? I would probably say half of our roster is, right now,” Eilert said. “Can the [bottom half of the roster] develop to where they’re contributing in the Big 12 and really help us win games in the Big 12, they absolutely have the ability to do so but right now we have about 7-8 guys that can really compete in the Big 12.”
Eilert is sure that his top half of the rotation can compete in the Big 12 but hopes the bottom half can develop into consistent Big 12 talent. The first-year head coach knows it’ll take time but it could be done.
“Yeah, it’s a work in progress. Something I’m very optimistic about is the guys we do have in the strong half of our rotation,” Eilert said.
Earlier this week, Eilert and staff were made aware that the NCAA denied Battle’s waiver. Now WVU needs Seth Wilson, Kobe Johnson, Josiah Harris and others to step up in the meantime as they await Battle’s appeal. Eilert mentioned he does not know how long the appeal decision will take, so West Virginia could be without Battle for the start of the season as the NCAA once again reviews the waiver.
“You’re not just going to replace him with one guy. It’s a combination of different lineups,” Eilert said.
West Virginia hosts George Mason in a charity exhibition game on Friday night before tipping off the season with Missouri State on Monday, Nov. 6.
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