Just a couple weeks ago, the Mountaineers were preparing for its matchup with the eventual national champion Villanova in the Sweet Sixteen. Now, with the 2017-18 season now in the books, it is time for the West Virginia coaching staff to turn their full attention to the recruiting trail.
If you follow the basketball team closely, you may realize the team is one player over the scholarship limit for next season. The Mountaineers only lose two seniors, in Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. and currently have four signees in the 2018 recruiting class – guard Jordan McCabe, guard Trey Doomes, forward Derek Culver and forward Andrew Gordon.
This is a good problem to have, unlike the football team who is currently 10 scholarships under the limit. Coach Bob Huggins will find a way for it to work. Some guys may turn pro (Esa Ahmad or Sagaba Konate) or there may be transfers that are included in the mix that will open up a spot for one of the newcomers. Junior forward D’Angelo Hunter has already announced that he will be transferring from the program, which helps cut the number over the limit from two to one, but that number has a good chance of going back to two over.
Bob Huggins and assistant coach Erik Martin visited with 2018 small forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. (a former UConn signee) last night in his home in Tacoma, WA. Matthews initially signed his letter of intent with the Huskies but was granted his release due to the firing of head coach Kevin Ollie. The 6’7″, 185-pound forward also holds offers from Boise State, Georgetown, Oregon State, Seton Hall and Washington, but the Mountaineers appear to be in a good spot. West Virginia signee and ESPN 100 guard Jordan McCabe has been known to have a pretty good relationship with Matthews, which could be a huge help in landing his services.
Matthews is extremely long and can also play guard, which can help in the press guarding the ball at the top of the key or around the arc. His game offensively is mainly from three-point land, but he will also do work under the basket as well. Once he gets on a college campus and bulks up, he will be a much-improved slasher and driver.
The initial signing date is April 11th and the final day to sign a letter of intent is May 16th. So it may be a while before we know Matthews’ decision, but we will have you covered once the news breaks!
Stay tuned for more recruiting information on Mountaineer football and basketball in the coming weeks.