November 13th will be here before you know it. That's when the Mountaineer men's basketball team begins their season in a home contest against Northern Kentucky.
I'm not gonna wish away the football season, but I haven't been this excited about a Mountaineer basketball team in quite a while.
Let's get to the notes:
- As we told you Monday, James "Beetle" Bolden will miss the entire season due to a torn ACL and sprained MCL. The true freshman point guard was expected to get some reserve point guard minutes this season. Bob Huggins said the initial plan was for Bolden to redshirt, but with his impressive play this summer that idea had been shelved and Bolden was ready to help the team. In an interview with Sportsline on Monday, Huggins told Tony Caridi that Bolden had been the team's most consistent outside shooter.
- Back to the injury: Apparently Bolden suffered it in a game on Saturday while trying to block a dunk attempt. The fact that the 6'0 guard was trying to block a dunk is a good sign that he's athletic/aggressive enough to do well in Huggs' system.
- There were a few more nuggets from Huggins in the Sportsline interview (which I recommend you listening to here), one of which is that it sounds like Jevon Carter is taking control of the point guard position. In recent press conferences, Huggs seemed like he preferred Tarik Phillip playing the point, as Carter shot the ball better when he could spot up and/or have plays ran for him. But on Monday he said Carter told him he wants to play point guard and will not allow it to affect his shooting. Huggs said the position is in "good hands."
- Expect newcomer Teyvon Myers to also get some time at the point, per Huggins.
- Marshall graduate transfer Tyquan Goard has withdrawn from WVU and will pursue a career overeseas. He arrived in Morgantown earlier this summer and joined the team on their trip to the Bahamas. If there was a reason given as to why Goard left, I have yet to find it. He averaged 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Herd in 2013-14 before being kicked off the team by Dan D'Antoni last October. He was expected to backup Jonathan Holton at the front of the press.
- Speaking of Marshall, it was recently announced that the Capital Classic at the five-star facility that is the Charleston Civic Center will be televised by ESPNU. Per the Charleston Gazette-Mail, this is the first time that the contest has been shown to a national audience. I can't decide if this is a good thing.
- Other tv news: The December 8th matchup against Virginia will be televised by ESPN at 7:00PM. The Cavaliers will likely start the season ranked in the top 10.
- Most preseason power rankings, useless as they are, have WVU anywhere from high teens to unranked. Just thinking out loud here, how much does the lasting image of 78-39 affect the voters? If WVU faces anyone outside of Kentucky in that sweet 16 matchup and merely loses by 12, the preseason predictions are likely much rosier. I'll be surprised if the "official" polls have the Mountaineers ranked any better than 22ish.
- Elijah Macon has been off recently with a tweaked back. Macon is going to be really important this season. He was not in great shape physically last season, which was understandable due to his personal problems and recovering from injury. There were times last season when he showed why he was a 4 star recruit (this block against LSU comes to mind) and if he's in peak physical shape he can be a very solid player in the Big 12.
- The coaching staff is currently on the road recruiting. As it stands now, there's only two scholarships (with the departures of seniors Jaysean Paige and Jonathan Holton) to give for the 2016 class. In-state prospect Chase Harler has already claimed one of them. The other is likely to go to a big. Here are a few guys the Mountaineers are realistically looking at:
- One more guy WVU is looking hard at, per Mitch Vingle of the Gazette, is Sagabe Konate. Not a ton of video online of this kid.
- It really hasn't changed since the last time I did it, but here's my projected depth chart:
|PG||Jevon Carter||Tarik Phillip|
|SG||Daxter Miles||Teyvon Myers|
|SF||Esa Ahmad||Jaysean Paige|
|PF||Jonathan Holton||Nathan Adrian||LaMont West|
|C||Devin Williams||Elijah Macon|
- I do feel more confident in locking Carter into the starting PG position now. And I'll leave you with this useless prediction: Teyvon Myers will be starting by the time conference play begins.