Seems for a few years now, and for one reason or another, be it injury or attrition, WVU has had a depth problem in the backcourt. It’s Da’Sean Butler or Devin Ebanks playing point guard or point guards Joe Mazzulla and Truck Bryant playing together.
These Mountaineers lose Mazzulla and Casey Mitchell from what you’d call the regular backcourt rotation and add Jabarie Hinds, who’s a talented, though slender point guard. Swap Mitchell with Dalton Pepper and perhaps Pepper with freshman Aaron Brown and WVU really looks no different right now. At least, not it the sense it comes out from underndeath that old problem.
But Bob Huggins has resources and time to fix the problem. There are names out there right now and let’s begin with the newest and the one about which we know the least.
Dayton’s Juwan Staten was one of the Atlantic 1o’s best facilitators and young players, but he’s leaving the Flyers. He considered WVU previously and the reports coming out of Ohio yesterday suggest he will again. Adding a transfer doesn’t help immediately, but it does break up the class numbers — ie, you’re not bringing in a ton of freshman and setting yourself up for a similar situation in the future.
Then again, it’s not easy to envision a coach taking a player who thought he’d be better off without that coach just a year earlier. And Staten has a dad who wonders if “maybe I’m too involved.” I don’t know what that means or how to project it, but it was interesting to read that this morning.
Then there’s ably named Blake Nash, a point guard at Williston State College in North Dakota. Pretty good stats for the 6-footer, who went the juco route to shore up academics. He redshirted the 2010 season and was a star this season. He has three years to play three seasons wherever he goes. He suggests Huggins visited him yesterday – “Huggs coming tomorrow” — but another tweet yesterday, when classes at Williston were cancelled because of snow, suggests it might not happen.
Next year I will b somewhere warm.. An hope I never see snow again.. K that’s all bye
And then there’s a fella you might have heard of once or twice before.
“Consider the whispers Noah Cottrill has retreated to Michigan to be with his older brother and address the personal issues that forced his exit from WVU this past season, in order to get back with the team,” Casazza wrote. “If his return is no longer an impossibility and he is welcomed back, WVU has a shooter it really needs as well as another piece for what may be a fresh approach next season.”
Casazza did write that. He’d been hearing about this for a while and from the same people and the same sorts of people who were filling him in on Cottrill previously, from suspension to departure to whatever is happening now.
The chatter heated up again this week and there have been a lot of phone calls and email from a lot of directions — and this from a guy who’s tried to stay offline and off the phone this week.
What’s happening now? It’s not clear. Clarity has been sought, but all the phone numbers for Cottrill and his family that were once legit are no longer legit. Except one … and that one hasn’t cooperated.
It’s not fair to speculate, but it’s not fair to be naive, either. It does appear there’s been an attempt to get right and to do so with intent. Maybe he wants back and maybe WVU will have him back. Right now, who knows? We do know Cottrill remains a popular person in the state and people are rooting for him to conquer whatever forced his exit.
Huggins said Tuesday he’s been in contact with Cottrill and hasn’t met with him, but couldn’t say for what purposes apart from making it sound routine. There’s also privacy involved and Huggins does have an interest in and a relationship with Cottrill and he surely wants to protect both.