When last we talked roundball, we focused on the few returning members of last year's roster. Today we will shine the spotlight on the newcomers. Huggs has gotten himself a highly athletic group of guys to fill out his depleted roster. If Mountaineer Madness was any indication, this new group of players should be very exciting to watch for the coming years. Here's the rundown of newcomers (alphabetically):
Aaron Brown - 6'5" 220 lbs Freshman Forward
The first commitment to this year's class, Brown averaged 20 points per game and 7 rebounds as a senior. The left hander is touted to be a tenacious defender on the perimeter as well as a consistent scorer from the outside. He has a strong body, a good rebounding presence and can finish above the rim.
Gary Browne - 6'1" 185 lbs Freshman Guard
Among the last minute qualifiers on this year's team, Browne finished his senior year averaging 11.6 points per game to go along with 7.5 assists and 4 steals. He also spent valuable time with the Puerto Rican U18 national team. Because of the late qualifying, he missed the team trip to Italy, but is expected to be in the mix at point guard, spelling Jabarie Hinds and allowing Truck to spend more time at the 2. He's an excellent passer and high percentage FT and 3 point shooter.
Pat Forsythe - 6'11" 240 lbs Freshman Center
A big man who can get up and down the court well with good footwork down low, Forsythe averaged 22.5 ppg and 12.5 rpg while scoring at a 66% clip as a senior. Despite his obvious size, he may need to bulk up a bit more before he sees meaningful playing time. A redshirt is a definite possibility.
Jabarie Hinds - 5'11" 175 lbs Freshman Guard
Another last minute qualifier, Hinds may be the most anticipated member of this incoming group of players. The two time Mister Basketball averaged 17.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 3.4 apg as a senior, leading his team to the AA state title in New York. Another left handed point guard, Hinds is expected to play right away. His HS coach, the highly regarded Bob Cimmino had this to say about Jabarie:
"His strengths are his constant effort," he added. "Jabarie takes no plays off, ever. He plays defense like no guard that I’ve seen before. Jabarie’s one weakness that he needs to overcome his his desire to over-drive, over-penetrate and if he’s going to last a long time in this game he has to really get comfortable with the eight to 10-foot pull-up."
Tommie McCune - 6'8" 205 Freshman Forward
Athletic and long, McCune averaged 16 ppg and 9 rpg as a HS senior. He's a quick player who can also get up and down the floor and shoots the ball well with. His length and motor makes him a good defender and rebounder, which bodes well in Huggins' system.
Keaton Miles - 6'6" 205 lbs Freshman Forward
Another highly touted recruit, Miles averaged 18 ppg and 13 rpg as a senior. He has already shown flashes of his high ability in the most recent Pittsburgh Summer league. Miles is a good defender who attacks the basket well. His athleticism was prevalent during the Mountaineer Madness with the attempts he made during the dunk contest. His frame could also use some bulking up, but he should be a fun one to watch develop this year.
Aaric Murray - 6'10" 240 lbs Junior Center
As we now shift gears to the players with college experience, Aaric Murray comes to WVU by way of LaSalle where he was an absolute presence inside with his blocking and rebounding ability. He must sit out this season, but will be allowed to practice with the team, aiding in the development of the newer players. When he joins the team full time next season, Aaric will have 2 years of eligibility remaining.
Dominique Rutledge - 6'8" 240 lbs Junior Forward
A junior college transfer, Rutledge is a versatile and athletic front line defender with an effective mid-range shot, Rutledge was expected to contribute right away, but is currently serving an indefinite suspension (no time frame on a pending return, but he is still listed on the official team roster website). I foresee lots of THIS in his immediate future.
Juwan Staten - 6'1" 190 lbs Sophomore Guard
A point guard transfer from Dayton, Staten will also have to sit out this year per transfer rules. As with Murray, his experience and leadership will be available to the younger players in practice. He will have 3 years of eligibility remaining after sitting out this season.