Gondrezick’s Absence Compounds WVU Roster Woes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Not to have been missed on the cover of West Virginia University’s opening game program distributed to the fans was the smiling face of Kysre Gondrezick, who at the time the cover was designed was penciled in to replace the graduated Chania Ray as Mike Carey’s point guard.
There were high hopes for her, a Michigan transfer who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, and why not?
She had Big Ten All-Freshman honors, leading all Big Ten freshmen in scoring with 14.9 points a game while averaging 3.6 rebounds. She scored in double figures 24 times in 33 games and six times was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
She came with all the necessary tools to make it a smooth transition at the point, including a family basketball heritage of a father, Grant, having played at Pepperdine and in the NBA, and in a mother, Lisa, who won a national championship at Louisiana Tech.
And that says nothing of her sister, Kalabrya, who plays at Michigan State.
But just before WVU took the court to wipe out Coppin State, 78-37, WVU passed around a press release that revealed she was away from the team “attending to a personal matter.”
There was no mention of what that personal matter might be and that was that.
“The WVU Athletics Department will have no further comments on the situation” it issued.
In other words, don’t ask.
Fair enough. Personal matters are personal for a reason, but as the night wore on you got the idea that she might miss more than a game or two.
No, she wasn’t suspended. She had taken a leave of absence.
The problem is that it doesn’t sound, from the way Carey spoke, like she’s going to be back any time soon, if at all.
He has eight active players on his roster right now.
N.C. State transfer Lucky Rudd won’t become eligible to play until the completion of the fall semester and the Mountaineers are also hoping that Penn State transfer De’Janae Boykin will be cleared by the NCAA to play during the second semester.
“We’re trying to look into some other situations to get people in here,” Carey admitted.
Not that he isn’t used to dealing with small numbers.
“It seems like deja vu,” he said, a year ago opening the season with eight players also.
That’s almost half the complement of 15 scholarship players you can carry but he has one out for the year, this new situation, a player coming eligible in the second semester and hoping that another is approved to compete in the second semester.
“It’s our fault as coaches for not correcting it,” Carey said. “I don’t blame anyone but myself and the coaches. Now, we didn’t know some of this stuff was going to go on, but we still should have had more numbers in here.
“I blame myself because we didn’t do what we needed to do. But I will say this: We will from here on out. Injuries will happen; we can’t control injuries, but I can control numbers.”
Meanwhile, Carey is working on ways to get through with his eight players, starting 2 p.m. Sunday at home against NJIT.