Head coach Bob Huggins said it himself. This year’s men’s basketball team better be “pretty good.” The Mountaineers return two seniors in the backcourt in All-Big XII guard Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. The frontcourt is headlined by freakishly athletic Sagaba Konate – and at some point – will feature Esa Ahmad once he returns from his 10-game suspension.
But it’s not just the veterans who will make this team special. No, it’s not even Huggins’ notorious “Press Virginia” defense that will have the country talking about the Mountaineers.
It’s Lamont West.
West came onto the scene late last season as deep threat who could splash in three-pointers at a high rate. His 5.6 points and 11 minutes played per game average from last year won’t excite most, but his outings against Texas (23 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists) and Oklahoma State (21 points) should. At 6-foot-8, he was also used as an annoying point man in the press defense. Most impressive, however, is that he contributed effectively as only a redshirt freshman.
2017 Should be even better for the play-making forward.
After Elijah Macon opted to forgo his senior season to play professionally in Hungary and Esa Ahmad was suspended by the NCAA for 10 games, West’s window of opportunity grew exponentially. As it sits right now, West is the most experienced forward on West Virginia’s roster and should be a shoo-in to start as a small forward or as a stretch four now that he has added on 15-pounds this off season.
Lamont West is already a household name for Mountaineers fans, but he’ll soon be considered one of the best underclassmen in the nation.