WVU’s 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Roster A Mystery

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins shouts instructions to his team (Photo/ Gregg Ellman)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mountaineer men’s basketball team spent the entire 2020-21 season ranked in the top 17, finished with a 19-10 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Whether next year’s WVU squad can replicate those feats will depend on the roster West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins can put on the floor, and right now that roster is unclear.

“I don’t have any idea,” said Huggins when asked what his 2021-22 club will look like. “It’s a crazy time in college athletics; you don’t know who is coming and who is staying.

“It’s hard right now to be able to say what your definite roster is, because you just don’t know,” said Huggins in an interview on the MetroNews Statewide Sportsline. “We’ve got four guys who are looking at the (NBA) draft. You don’t know how many of those slimy creatures called agents are slithering around promising the world and not being able to deliver anything but promising the world.”

With the NCAA’s transfer portal usually leading to immediate eligibility at another college, plus the enticement of testing the NBA waters, half of West Virginia’s roster is in a state of uncertainty.

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Junior forward Emmitt Matthews and junior guard Jordan McCabe are leaving WVU. McCabe has already signed with UNLV, and Matthews is still exploring his options.

That pair is definitely gone, and the future for other Mountaineers is unclear at the moment. Guards Deuce McBride, Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil have all publicly announced their intentions of putting their names into the 2021 NBA Draft to check on their pro potential. Junior center Derek Culver appears likely to do the same. Because none has yet signed with an agent, each has until July 19 to pull his name out of the NBA Draft pool if they wish to return to college.

McBride, who averaged 15.9 points per game this past season, has the highest stock among NBA analysts. He’s listed as a mid-second round pick by some of the current mock drafts.

“He’s here now,” said Huggins of McBride, who in Morgantown and working out with the Mountaineers. “I haven’t really sat down and broached that conversation (about his draft status) with him yet. This is just me, but I think the family decision is he will stay and get his education. He’s not going to bail out on his education.”

The definite departures of McCabe and Matthews combined with the uncertainty in terms of the pro decisions for McBride, McNeil, Sherman and Culver leaves WVU with six other scholarship players who are eligible to return – Jalen Bridges, Gabe Osabuohien, Isaiah Cottrell, Kedrian Johnson, Taj Thweatt and Seny Ndiaye. In addition, the Mountaineers have signed two high school guards who will join the team this summer – Kobe Johnson (who recently was named Ohio’s Division I Player of the Year) and Seth Wilson. The Mountaineers also have a verbal commitment from 6-foot-9 grad transfer Dimon Carrigan, who has spent the past two seasons at Florida International.

Huggins has often said that he’s not a fan of the transfer portal, especially how it is currently combined with immediate eligibility, but he admits that his squad will also have to be active in mining the portal as WVU looks to rebuild its roster.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins reacts to a missed call by official Doug Sirmons

“What else are we going to look at? They actually haven’t given us much of a choice,” he stated. “There are 1,000 guys in the portal, 1,000! Here is a question – what about the people who don’t get (a new scholarship offer) who have left their school? What about them? Don’t they matter?

“That’s the position we’ve been put in. There are so many people who think they know our business but don’t have a clue, don’t have a clue. A lot of them are housed in Indianapolis (home to the NCAA headquarters). We (college coaches) all look each other and are like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ because they don’t live in our world.”

The Mountaineers are far from unique in experiencing players want to transfer. Nine of the 10 teams in the Big 12 have someone in the portal, and most have multiples. Texas Tech has the largest number with six. Baylor is only Big 12 team without a player in the portal, but it may only be a matter of time before the recent national champions experience a portal entry as well.

“This is maybe the worst thing that has happened to amateur basketball and college sports,” said Huggins of expanded transfer world. “I just think it was a terrible decision by the NCAA to do this.

“I’m on the Board of Governors, which is a huge table of the who’s who of college coaching, and there wasn’t one vote for it,” explained Huggins, who will take a career coaching record of 900-382 into his 15th season leading his alma mater. “Everyone voted against it, and I mean everyone. You have that going on, but then they say, ‘We appreciate your opinion, but we’re going to do this anyway.’ It doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth.”

College coaches may not be able to put the transfer genie back in the bottle, but that doesn’t mean they have to be happy about the situation.

“I hope people understand that this is not a good thing as advertised; this is a bad thing,” said a disgusted Huggins. “For all the P.R. that is thrown out there, people need to realize they are not helping our student-athletes.

“I get frustrated from by the fact that you work so hard to try to help guys, not just athletically but academically and socially and everything else,” WVU’s coach said. “You are about get to the point where everything is coming together, and then someone comes up and says, ‘Hey, why don’t you put your name in the portal and see what’s out there for you?’ It makes no sense to me.”

Home Page forums WVU’s 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Roster A Mystery

  • This topic has 18 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated by Butlereer.
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  • #143964

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va, – The Mountaineer men’s basketball team spent the entire 2020-21 season ranked in the top 17, finished with a 19-10 record and advan
    [See the full post at: WVU’s 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Roster A Mystery]

    #143967

    For whatever its worth I’m with Huggs on this one.

    #143969

    Here, here!  As I’ve said before, the NCAA is a mess!

    #143972

    “what about the people who don’t get (a new scholarship offer) who have left their school? What about them? Don’t they matter?”

    This would be an enlightening avenue to another angle of the portal! What does happen to those in limbo?

    #143974

    They end up at JUCO, I suspect.

    #143978

    Or DII. Or DIII.

    #143979

    Tony, I’ll be happy to do that research if you will fund it.

    I would think that $50,000 would cover the time and effort.

    #143993

    You would think that the NCAA would be interested enough ti fund it just to find out what the consequences of their actions are!?

    #143999

    They know what the cosequences are. And even if they compiled every player and where they went, or if they didn’t come back to school, that’s not going to stop this. The momentum behind player freedom, NIL and the like is simply too strong.

    “This is for your own good” has never been much of a compelling argument for kids when offered by adults.

    #144013

    I’m thinking McNeil and McBride likely return.  I think it’s 50/50 for Culver and Sherman.  I’m hoping, and I think there is a reasonable chance, that all four return.  Just have to wait and see.  I’d like to see help at the point guard for Deuce so he can play off the ball more.  I don’t know if Keddy Johnson can offer that relief, and it’s a lot to expect either of the freshman to do so.  It’s been suggested (on another board) that returning seniors don’t count against the roster.  If that’s so, we could still add to the roster, even if McNeil, McBride, Sherman and Culver all return.  I’m excited for next year.  I know Huggs hates the portal, but there was an article in the Washington Post which talked about the final four and how all four teams there had used it and benefited from it.  There are certainly many players from non-power 5 conferences who will want to move up, so even as we may lose players to the portal, there should be opportunities.  From my point of view, I’m a fan regardless of the rules the NCAA puts in place.  We just have to make the best of it.

    #144024
    JAL

    Sam 12 is correct.  The team has a 13 scholarship limit but returning seniors do not count against that limit.  Osabuohien already is returning so WVU can have 14 scholarship players next season.  If Sherman returns that will put it up to 15.  Of course a team does not have to use all the scholarship spots.

    #144030

    Hey Huggins …..  Tell us how you really think ….

    “It’s hard right now to be able to say what your definite roster is, because you just don’t know,” said Huggins in an interview on the MetroNews Statewide Sportsline. “We’ve got four guys who are looking at the (NBA) draft. You don’t know how many of those slimy creatures called agents are slithering around promising the world and not being able to deliver anything but promising the world.”

    #144035

    This NCAA transfer every time someone gets a burr in their saddle they can transfer just because has to stop

    #144059

    The NCAA is driven by politics, and right now, politics is about tribalism and group think. They are bowing to outside pressures not related to what is best for the student-athlete and the teams involved. There is no talk of the effect of the portal on the athlete’s academic progress and performance and the effect on team moral and cohesiveness, let alone the effect on the college itself in terms of future recruiting dynamics and reputation; shouldn’t these be a top priority for the NCAA like they used to be a long time ago?? Isn’t the the original purpose of the NCAA to begin with???  Instead, they talk about what’s “fair” to the athlete as if he or she is the only cog on the wheel. Just wait until they start getting paid as college athletes and the unintended consequences that will follow… can you say Pandora’s box?!

    #144062

    The courts won’t allow the old system any longer.  As a curmudgeon I don’t like it, but that doesn’t matter.  The world of college athletics is changing before our eyes.  The old system had its flaws too.  But the whole thing may go out the window now

    #144092

    Or DII. Or DIII.

    DII could most likely be a partial schollie.  DIII academic schollies only.

    #144109

    NCAA needs to be taken apart and done away with. P5 should form into a separate organization.

    #144139

    Allen, that’s been brought up at times. However, what is the guarantee that whatever governing body that replaces it would be any better?

    I’m not saying that’s a reason to stand pat and accept all of the NCAA’s problems. But I think that changes could be made, without disrupting what is good that currently exists, much more easily than forming a new organization.

    The latter includes such problems as losing all the NCAA basketball money, and would likely be the death of many Olympic sports. Maybe that will be the result anyway, but a new organization would be catastrophic in many respects.

    #144145

    What is needed is that the bylaws of the NCAA need to be rewritten.  All of the governing bodies of the NCAA need to be replaced.  The University Presidents need to have input but no control over the NCAA.  Inside of the NCAA there needs to be a separate body that handles any noncompliance problems.  And this body should be separated from the reporting structure of the NCAA and University Presidents.  They need to have a specific footprint for any noncompliance that they hear and make a swift decision.

    I agree that just separating the P5 schools would cause major problems and not only be the death of many Olympic Sports, but be the death of many G5 programs in FB and BB.  This pay for play that we have now will really get out of hand.

    Be careful what you ask for.  See what freedom of movement has done in the last couple years.  NIL is next Genie to escape.

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Home Page forums WVU’s 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Roster A Mystery

Home Page forums WVU’s 2021-22 Men’s Basketball Roster A Mystery