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WVU Hoops Report: Huggins Gives Updates, Plus Some Recruiting News & More

Here's some updates and recruiting info on the WVU hoops team.

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Even though everyone is in full-football mode right now, basketball season really isn't that far away. And though the Mountaineers ended last season in embarrassing fashion and lost some key pieces, there's still some really exciting potential with this roster.

Last Wednesday Huggins spoke with Tony Caridi and Greg Hunter on Sportsline and gave some updates on several players and recent news. It's a great interview, and I highly recommend you going here to watch the whole thing.
  • On the schedule: Huggs mentions that there are a lot of Saturday/Monday turnarounds. He says they're tough, but they're tough for both teams. So it's a wash. Starting February 11th, the Mountaineers have three straight weeks with Saturday/Monday games. He also again mentioned the Big 12 starting West Virginia off with two road games before the semester begins. He thinks that has helped contribute to the team's academic performance, not having to miss a ton of school.
  • The team is currently practicing twice a week, one hour per practice. That is the maximum contact allowed.
  • On Esa Ahmad: According to Huggins he looks terrific and is in great shape. "I don't think there's any doubt he's gonna have a good year."
  • On Tarik Phillip: "He's had days where he's been really, really, really good and days he hasn't been so good." Huggins calls him the hardest worker on the team, but says he sometimes puts too much pressure on himself.
  • On Lamont West: Huggins said he is playing really well. The staff is emphasizing getting him to have more straight line drives to the basket. He's made more progress than anyone on the team.
  • On Beetle Bolden: Huggs says tough spot because he's playing against great defenders in Tarik Phillip and Jevon Carter, and the best athlete on the team in Daxter Miles.
  • On Elijah Macon: Was playing really well until he stubbed his toe. Huggins expects him to bounce back quickly.
  • On Brandon Watkins: Hes playing much better with more confidence. If Watkins continues his current trajectory, he and Macon have a chance to replace Devin's production.
  • On Sagaba Konate: Gets better every day. Huggs wants him to stop bouncing it in the post, but mentions he has a much improved jump hook. Huggs is excited about his potential
  • On Chase Harler: Huggs says he will get some playing time this season because he plays so hard. Harler hasn't shot the ball well, but Huggins believes that will change.
  • On Maciej Bender: Magic is really behind because he played with Polish junior team. Huggins says he has a great pick-and-pop game, and rebounds it better than he expected.
Now on to some recruiting nuggets:
  • 2017 G Taveion Hollingsworth from Lexington, Kentucky was on an official visit this past Saturday. West Virginia has two open scholarships in 2017, and one of the is likely going to a shooting guard.
  • 6'9 forward Sean Mobley from Montverde, Florida will take an official visit to WVU on September 30th. He also has visits lined up with VCU and Dayton.
  • The recruiting of in-state players is becoming interesting. Ripley (WV) High forward Chase Johnson has an offer from the Mountaineers but has yet to pull the trigger. If he waits too long and Mobley or someone similar is ready to commit, Johnson may miss his chance. That is, if he wants to come to WVU at all. He's got plenty of options, and he has every right to take his time. Before his recruiting took off this summer, it was rumored that WVU's offer was contingent on spending a year at prep school, a la Brandon Knapper. With the options he has now, I doubt he'd go for that. Johnson is taking an official visit to Florida this weekend, according to his AAU team.
  • In-state guard Luke Frampton is still without an offer from West Virginia, which is surprising to me. Frampton recently announced that he was transferring from Poca (WV) High to Huntington Prep. Frampton has offers from big-time programs, including Virginia and Memphis. According to, Frampton and fellow in-stater Jarrod West will be in Huntington checking out Marshall's campus this weekend. I get the feeling both of them may end up with the Herd.
  • My guess is the 2017 class, which already includes Brandon Knapper and Derek Culver, will be filled out with an athletic, long small forward and a shooting guard. One of the Mountaineers top 2G targets, Darryl Morsell, recently released a top 5 that didn't include WVU. Huggins may hold off until the summer and scour the JUCO ranks for a 2.
And finally, here's my best guess at how the depth chart will look to start the season:
Tarik Phillip Beetle Bolden Teyvon Myers
Daxter Miles Jevon Carter Chase Harler
Esa Ahmad Lamont West
Nathan Adrian Maciej Bender
Elijah Macon Brandon Watkins Sagaba Konate