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WVU Trying to Gain Momentum While Players Have New Roles



WVU Basketball HC Josh Eilert and Quinn Slazinski
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU Basketball was able to get back into the win column on Saturday with a win over Toledo. The Mountaineers, who are once again trying to find their team identity, look to gain momentum in the last stretch of the non-conference schedule.

West Virginia has added back Kerr Kriisa, RaeQuan Battle, Noah Farrakhan and Akok Akok in the last two weeks but also lost starting big man Jesse Edwards (fractured wrist) for about four weeks. WVU’s players are all looking at their new roles on this team. How does West Virginia balance the returnees with the rotation that began the season?

“I think my message to them is we have to figure out everyone is going to have different roles,” WVU interim HC Josh Eilert said. “We’re transitioning basically three-and-a-half guys into the rotation. We weren’t going to play with a six, seven-man rotation all year. What we expected from the first nine game was going to change. We talked a lot about individual roles. Those guys off the bench when we went flat early in the second half did a great job coming in and changing that.”

“They’re going to have a huge role in our success moving forward. As soon as everybody buys into their role 100%, we’re going to be a good team,” Eilert added.

Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson, Ofri Naveh and Josiah Harris have all transitioned into full-time bench roles. All four at one point had starting minutes in the first nine games until the team returned key players. West Virginia now sits at 5-7 with a neutral site date with Ohio State next Saturday. Then, it’ll be time for the Big 12 slate. Despite the slow start to the season, WVU looks to gain momentum while keeping the fanbase invested.

“We haven’t given them a lot to hang onto but they continue to back us and shoutout to our fans for showing up and helping us get that win,” Eilert said. “We feed off that energy. We’ll be back here for conference play, students will be back. Excited to get that place rocking again.”

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