Season Preview: West Virginia
Last Season: 28-9, NCAA Sweet 16
Key Losses: Nathan Adrian, Tarik Phillip
Key Additions: D’Angelo Hunter
It is hard to know what to expect from the West Virginia Mountaineers in any given season. Despite their unorthodox approach to basketball, Bob Huggins’s team seems to always put together a solid season with a nice finish in the Big 12 standings. The Mountaineers are known for their full-court press and athleticism that create a lot of turnovers and problems for opposing teams. Last year Huggins’s system lead West Virginia to a second place finish in the Big 12 before falling to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.
One player who has always been vital to their tournament runs is forward Nathan Adrian, who graduated this offseason. The former senior managed to put up 9.6 points snd 6 rebounds per game, but the best part of his game comes on the defensive side of the court. It is hard to find a guy who put more into the game of basketball than Adrian, who was always seen diving all over the floor for balls. The good news for the Mountaineers though, is that they still kept many other key pieces from last year, including Jevon Carter, Esa Ahmad, and Daxter Miles Jr., all guards who have thrived in stretching the floor for West Virginia the past couple years.
This year, West Virginia brings in junior college transfer D’Angelo Hunter. The 6’7″ wing player does not have the most eye-popping numbers, but has a good shot and seems like a fit in the “Press Virginia” system put in place. Him and the rest of the Mountaineers will have some work to do to finish near the top of the Big 12 again, but they should still put together a good season and stay in the AP top 25 most of the season. It will be interesting to see how much Nathan Adrian really did for that team, because of all of the intangible contributions he gave the team.
Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: Jevon Carter
SG: Daxter Miles Jr.
SF: Esa Ahmad
PF: Lamont West
C: Elijah Macon