Football is on everyone's mind right now, but the men's basketball team is primed for a great year and hey, there's only 114 days until the first regular season game tips. The team is looking to improve on a very solid 2014-15 season. A Sweet 16 appearance was nice, but Huggins has his eyes set on higher goals this upcoming season.
On to the notes:
- On Monday, the team had their first of ten practices before their trip to the Bahamas on August 9th.
- The team will play three games there. Their opponents are IBA Elite, Atlantis All-Stars, and the Patron Regulators. I'll have scouting reports on each of those teams later in the week. (Or maybe not.)
- The top recruit in the 2015 class (and the top recruit in Morgantown in several years) Esa Ahmad is now officially enrolled. He started a summer class on the 20th and should be good to go for the Bahamas. He'll wear #23.
- More jersey numbers, if you're into that kinda thing: Beetle Bolden will wear #3, Teyvon Myers will wear #0, and LaMont West will wear #15. Jaysean Paige's number will change from #0 to #5, and Devin Williams will change from #5 to #41.
- Recruits LaMont West and James "Beetle" Bolden have been in Morgantown for a while now. Both enrolled in June and have been taking classes.
- The final piece to the puzzle is JC transfer Teyvon Myers. Myers has some classwork to take care of at his former school and will enroll in the fall.
- Bob Huggins continues to question the NCAA's motives for moving from a 35 to a 30 second shot clock. He thinks it's a mistake to try to be more like the NBA and that the college product is better. I agree with most of what Huggins says, but in my opinion he couldn't be more wrong on this. I watch a TON of both college and pro basketball, and there's no comparison. The pro game is so much more fluid and enjoyable to watch. The more the college game can resemble it, the better. Side note: Those who think the pros "don't play defense" and "just go one-on-one" couldn't watch much NBA.
- Expect more quick-hitting actions and ball screens next season. Huggs mentioned that to adapt to the new rules, he'll look to include more of both in the offense. The team has practiced with the 30 second shot clock some this offseason.
- The most likely outcome for Brandon Watkins, per Huggins, is to redshirt the 2015-16 season. Watkins had knee surgery after last season came to an end. The team has frontcourt depth to handle this, but I hate it for Watkins. He contributed some solid minutes toward the end of last season. He will be with the team in the Bahamas.
- Nathan Adrian will also make the trip but won't be playing. This offseason is really important for Nate, and being out with an injury doesn't help.
- Scout.com's 37th ranked player in the 2015 class, Maverick Rowan, has WVU among his top four schools. Rowan was originally a member of the 2016 class, but recently decided to reclassify and has the Mountaineers in his final cut along with Louisville, NC State, and St. John's. West Virginia doesn't have any open scholarships currently for 2015, so this could get interesting. Rowan has been all over the place with his recruitment, though, and could have a completely new top four by next week. My official useless prediction: St. John's gets him.
- In his press conference on Monday, Huggins said Tarik Phillip was the most improved guy at the point.
- It's way too early, but here's my projected depth chart:
||Daxter Miles Jr.
- As it stands now, I'll be shocked if Carter, Ahmad, Holton, or Williams aren't among the starting five. The other guard spot will be interesting. Does Huggins move Carter, his best spot-up shooter, to the point and limit his open looks? Will he insert Phillip in the lineup, move Carter to the 2, and bring Miles (who started every game last season) off the bench? Will Teyvon Myers force his way into significant playing time? It's definitely something to watch.