He’ll fix it

Here’s what’s truly weird about the WVU basketball offseason. The Mountaineers were a team this past season with no seniors … and ended up with five scholarships. Five!

WVU only had 11 scholarship players last season (and only nine who were eligible) because of the exodus last spring. That left Bob Huggins with a pair of scholarships, but only until Eron Harris and then Terry Henderson transferred and Remi Dibo decided to go back to France to play professionally to open up three more. In the spring, no less.

Five is a big number in recruiting and you really had to wonder how Huggins would hand them out — or if he would hand them out.

Honestly, what good would it do to bring in five freshmen when an expressly stated cause of the transfer epidemic is too many players in a class and/or at a position who won’t wait or work for their turn? Sign five and the numbers say you lose at least two within two years, right?

So I was the one who asked Huggins if he might, you know, pocket one or two rather than test the numbers that he hasn’t been able to beat. He doesn’t want to, and I can totally get that, even if I had to ask. This won’t make sense, because I just said five is a big number, but 13 is not a big number. Not when the players exist in the numbers they do and the competition is as fierce as it is for their services.

So what does Huggins do? Well, take a look at what he did with the five. Two went to incoming freshmen who signed in the fall. The distribution of the final three is really interesting: a three-year juco, a two-year juco and, though it hasn’t happened, possibly a one-year postgraduate player.

Why is that significant? If it happens that way, WVU has no more than four players in any class (the senior class, which is good news for a promising crop of 2015 possibilities, and the sophomore class) and has no more than three players at one position in a class. The latter deserves an explanation. WVU would have three forwards in the sophomore class, but Nate Adrian, Devin Williams and Brandon Watkins aren’t all playing the same position.

The overcrowding doesn’t seem to exist.

Is it the fix? It’s obviously too soon to tell because so many things can happen before that cycle goes all the way around, but it at least puts WVU in a position it hasn’t been in for quite some time.

The problematic large classes of the past don’t seem to be part of the future.

“Ideally, that’s what you want,” Huggins said. “I don’t think you ever want a year with no scholarships and I don’t think you want a year with eight guys. The year we had (seven) guys, we had a slew of guys transfer. I don’t want that.”

9 Responses to “He’ll fix it”

  1. Dann White says:

    I have to admit, Huggs is making sense here, that worries me. I just wonder if he thought this out or if it just happened to turn out this way.
    I guess we’ll have to sit back for one or two seasons and wait for continuity (and winning) to return to our program. I can’t say much at this point, I really wanted Huggins to return, and I got my wish.

  2. netbros says:

    He is setting things up nicely for the future with players per class and per position. Now, if he can just hold onto them. The personnel turnover is what’s killing any continuity and has to be doubling the recruiting expenses.

    I’m the same age as Huggins and I have to believe he can’t enjoy all the extra recruiting trips. When I was a young man just settling in to a career in business, I loved to travel all over the country for work. The older I got, the less appealing it became. Now in his 60s, the planes, airports, strange beds, rental cars, funky food at funky hours, just to chase teenage kids with the egos of the next MJ has got to be tiresome.

    Sure, it’s part of the job and he gets paid very, very well, but whenever one kid leaves that probably means at least 10 more trips on the recruiting trail to find the next one. Here’s hoping the group he has now will stick around for awhile.

  3. smeer says:

    is he flying Southwest or private jet with a wet bar?

    if the latter, not feeling too sorry for him

  4. jtmountaineer says:

    I hoped against hope the title of this post referred to the Daily Mail’s webmaster vis-à-vis the comments not being displayed.

  5. jtmountaineer says:

    Hmmm. Now they’re showing up.

    In terms of the post itself, when does the current dead period end? What are the options, if any, besides the graduate transfer from Xavier?

  6. KeatonsCorner says:

    JT,

    dead period ended today. There’s Martin, the Xavier kid……. but there are at least 2 more JUCO options that WVU is looking at. The issue with them? They’re trying to graduate early in order to join the 2014 class, instead of 2015. TJ Dunans and Luis Montero

    Dunans is a 6’5 wing who put 40+ points up in one of his JUCO tournament games last month.

    Montero is a Devin Ebanks replica (6’8, 190lbs plays positions 1-4)

  7. JC says:

    So maybe I was on to something when I said all these “defections” were part of the fix…..

  8. KeatonsCorner says:

    JC,

    I don’t think that’s fair to Henderson or Dibo. Fans still aren’t sure why Terry left other than his friendship to Harris is stronger than his ties to WV.

    Dibo is getting a job, which is the whole goal of college in the first place

  9. netbros says:

    Welcome Phillis. Be sure to let us know when your website is ready and we will bombard you with love.