Last week, Sagaba Konate joined Chase Harler in the 2016 WVU basketball recruiting class. Technically, that should end their recruiting for the 2016 class. There are only two seniors on the 2015 squad, Jonathan Holton and Jaysean Paige.
But the Mountaineers had their eye on one more target.
Four star prospect Maciej Bender has been on West Virginia's radar for a while now, and on Sunday evening made his pledge to the Mountaineers.
Bender has a really good looking shot, a nice handle for his size, and is a solid athlete.
With Bender's commit, that gives West Virginia one scholarship over the thirteen that are allowed. How will that problem be solved? There are a few options:
Devin Williams to the NBA (or Europe)
Obviously, if Williams decided to turn pro after this (his junior) season, the extra scholarship would be there. The indispensable NBA draft website draftexpress.com currently has Williams going undrafted were he to enter the 2016 field. They rate him as the 37th best junior prospect in the nation and give this analysis on his player profile:
Devin Williams will be an interesting prospect to watch for the Mountaineers this season, with very defined positive attributes, but also some very clearly defined weaknesses that could be difficult to overcome. He has the ability to combine a throwback big man, with an imposing presence in the post and on the glass, with a burgeoning jump shot, which could create an intriguing inside/outside combination. A tough and physical rebounder who can also step away from the hoop is something virtually any team could use.
However, while his physical profile in terms of size and strength form the basis of part of his intrigue, his physical profile also provides perhaps his biggest question marks, this time in the form of a lack of explosion around the rim and struggles with lateral foot speed away from the hoop, which becomes a bigger concern at the next level. How well he is able to combat these problems will be key when trying to project how legitimate of a prospect Williams is going forward.
Unless he has an absolute monster year and shows improved leaping ability, it'd probably be best for Williams to stay for his senior season. A jump to the pros isn't out of the question, though.
An unexpected transfer
In the wild world of college basketball, transfers happen in the hundreds every year. It's possible the extra scholarship will open up just by someone currently on the team leaving. I think everyone knows at this point the recent history of transfers in Morgantown. Someone currently on the roster could look elsewhere after the season if they don't get the playing time and opportunities they think they deserve.
Chase Harler to prep school
I don't think this one would be out of the question. West Virginia's other in-state commit, South Charleston's Brandon Knapper, has already announced that he will attend prep school after his senior season and join the Mountaineers in 2017. If need be, Harler could certainly take that route as well. Five current juniors on the roster means the 2017 class should be a large one. There's at least a chance Harler will be redshirted anyway, given the Mountaineers depth at the guard position.
These things almost always work themselves out. And if Bender is as good as the chatter that surrounds him, you bring him in and work out the details later.