It may appear that West Virginia guards Kedrian ‘Keddy’ Johnson and Malik Curry are competing for the starting point guard role for the Mountaineers this season.
It’s quite actually the opposite.
“I’ll say Malik and I bring the attitude to practice, you know we go back and forth, but it makes me and him both better,” Johnson said.
Both Johnson and Curry took unexpected paths to get to West Virginia.
Johnson is a former JUCO product, playing at Temple College from 2018-19. The Texas native averaged 25.6 points, which was fifth in the country — and was behind current teammate Taz Sherman.
Last season, Johnson received role playing minutes, and would come into the games if Deuce McBride was in foul trouble. Johnson’s intensity on defense helped the Mountaineers win games, like in Stillwater, Oklahoma, last season against Oklahoma State. Down 19 points, Johnson checked into the game and helped the Mountaineers complete the comeback.
Now, with McBride gone, Johnson has that opportunity to step in the starting lineup.
Curry has a lot of adversity thrown at him over his life thus far. From losing his father at the age of 13, to deciding to play JUCO ball early on in his college career, Curry has overcome a lot to play for a Big 12 school. Curry played his junior and senior seasons at Old Dominion. The 6-foot-1 guard was named to the All-Conference USA in 2021 before transferring to WVU.
Now, Curry will have to adjust quickly as he has one year of eligibility left.
“It’s definitely different, it’s a lot harder playing here,” Curry said. “Pressing and being up 94-feet the whole game, so that’s been an adjustment for me.”
Curry has added a pull-up jump shot to his game, since the Big 12 big men are bigger than the guys in CUSA.
Johnson and Curry being a junior college players and heading to play for Bob Huggins is not surprising, we know how Huggins loves his JUCO players.
“I like junior college guys because they’re used to eating a cheese sandwich in a van,” Huggins said. “They’re not spoiled.”
As the season begins on Nov. 9 against Oakland, Johnson and Curry will be competing in the eyes of the fans but in their eyes, they’re competing to make each other better.
(Top Photo: Kelsie LeRose – WVSN)