No team in college basketball had a more eventful off-season than the West Virginia Mountaineers did. Just a few months ago, West Virginia Basketball looked poised to be ranked in the preseason AP top 25 poll after bolstering their depth with an impressive transfer portal class.
Bob Huggins, the Hall of Fame Coach found himself in the news during the off-season and not for good reason. Huggins “resigned” causing turnover and turmoil to ensue. Key contributors from a season ago, Joe Toussaint (Texas Tech) and Tre Mitchell (Kentucky) entered the transfer portal and found new homes. James Okonkwo (North Carolina) and Mohamed Wague (Alabama) also left the program following Huggins’ departure.
On top of this, 3 of WVU’s most notable newcomers have yet to see the floor this season. Without Kerr Kriisa (suspended 9 games), Akok Akok (health) and RaeQuan Battle (pending NCAA waiver), the Mountaineers have started the season with just 8 scholarship players available. Additionally, the Mountaineers return only about 10% of their total scoring from a season ago.
Many WVU basketball fans have been adamant that they have no expectations for the team this season, yet that will not keep them from cheering on their Mountaineers. Through all the turmoil surrounding this program over the last few months, these coaches and players need a fanbase that is willing to rally around them. The Mountaineers are 2-1 through 3 games with wins over Missouri State, Jacksonville State and a loss to Monmouth. Let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly of WVU Basketball in the early going.