Over the past several years, the college basketball landscape has changed dramatically. The NCAA granted athletes transferring for the first time immediate eligibility in every sport just almost a year ago in late April. Since then, the number of names entered into the transfer portal has skyrocketed. West Virginia is no exception.
This offseason, prominent role players such as Jalen Bridges and Sean McNeil leave the program. There is only one Mountaineer starter returning to the program in Kedrian Johnson. However, Bob Huggins has brought in a tremendous amount of talent to help contribute to the 2022-23 campaign.
Emmitt Matthews Jr. returns to the basketball program after playing with the Washington Huskies for a season. The 6-foot-7 forward will bring something to the team that they sorely missed last season; scoring. Matthews Jr. averaged 11.7 points and could be West Virginia’s go-to option next season. Matthews and Stevenson also bring a strong presence to the defensive side of the ball.
Erik Stevenson is another transfer who will surely help out with West Virginia’s lack of scoring a season ago. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 11.6 points with South Carolina. Like Matthews Jr, Stevenson is another transfer who will contribute immediately to the offense.
Huggins has also brought in another transfer already familiar with the Big 12 — Tre Mitchell. The former Texas and UMass product is 6-foot-9, 220 pounds. While he did average just 8.7 points last season, he is a threat from beyond the arch, averaging a 33.8% on three-pointers.
The Mountaineers have also sought to add through junior colleges along with these three transfers already mentioned. Jimmy Bell Jr is 6-foot-10, 280 pounds, and will look to be a dominant presence under the hoop. Mohamed Wague, also 6-foot-10, and he averaged 14.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks last season. Lastly, Patrick Suemnick, who last played for Triton, just outside of Chicago, completes the trio.
The Mountaineers look to bounce back from a disappointing campaign, finishing the season 16-17 and last in the Big 12. While it might not change overnight, West Virginia improved with the incoming transfers this season.