The long-awaited debut of RaeQuan Battle has finally happened. Despite the loss, Battle scored 29 to lead the way for West Virginia.
RaeQuan Battle has finally made his highly-anticipated debut for the West Virginia Mountaineers. After an ongoing battle with the NCAA, the two-time transfer out of Montana State has finally been granted the ability to suit up for the Mountaineers. In the 66-65 loss to Radford, Battle put up 29 points on 19 shot attempts.
West Virginia fell to Radford in heartbreaking fashion as DaQuan Smith knocked down a difficult go-ahead basket with just 1 second remaining in the game. The rollercoaster few months for the Mountaineers continues as they fall to 4-7 on the young season. West Virginia is hoping that it’s new pieces can help turn this season around as the team inches closer to Big 12 conference play. Three bright spots can be found in the three latest Mountaineers to take the court, Kerr Kriisa, Noah Farrakhan, and RaeQuan Battle.
Kriisa has played in the last two contests for the Mountaineers. Despite a quiet output scoring the basketball agasitn Radford (3 points on 1-4 shooting) he played exceptionally well against UMASS last Saturday. In his team debut Kriisa scored 20 points, including 6 made threes, and dished out 7 assists. While they sit at 4-7, the talented point guard has Mountaineer fans excited for a potential turnaround.
vs UMASS 15 points | 4 assists | 7-11 FG | 18 minutes
vs Radford 16 points | 7 rebounds | 7-10 FG | 32 minutes
Noah Farrakhan is the other Mountaineer (alongside Battle) to benefit from the court ruling that has granted two-time transfers eligibility without a waiver. Farrakhan brings a scoring punch that the Mountaineers have needed at the guard position. He has a knack for scoring the ball and making plays on the offensive end of the floor. He has showcased these abilities in his first two games in a Mountaineer uniform. The Eastern Michigan transfer has been one of the best players on the court for WVU in the team’s last two games.
Although he was forced to deal with some first game jitters and cramps throughout the game, Battle finished with 29 points on 9-22 shooting. He played 32 minutes and was visibility tired at times during this game. Having not played a meaningful game since the NCAA Tournament in March, and battling a sickness last week, Battle’s fatigue was to be expected.
To score 29 points while not being nearly at his best speaks to the type of talent that he is. If the Mountaineers are able to scrap and claw their way to wins in conference play, Battle will have to have a significant impact.