Huggins’ spring cleaning
Spring is here.
Major League Baseball is under way. The NBA playoffs are just weeks away.
And, spring cleaning has begun in homes as well as with the men’s basketball program at West Virginia University.
Monday’s announcement that three players have elected to transfer came as little surprise to most fans who followed the old gold and blue. Let’s face it, when you go 13-19, either it’s time for the coaching staff to change or it’s time for players to see if the grass really is greener somewhere else.
Two of the trio of names came as no surprise as little-used Volodymry Gerun and Darby (Pa.) native Aaron Brown just weren’t able to find their niche with the Big 12 team. But, the one that caught everyone’s eye is the departure of sophomore Jabarie Hinds.
The Mount Vernon (N.Y.) native had started in 59 of his 65 games with the Mountaineers, averaging nearly 23 minutes per game. He averaged 7.4 points per game during his two seasons in Morgantown, but the pressure of playing, first in the Big East and then in the Big 12, may have finally gotten to him as he finished the past season with 55 turnovers compared to only 52 assists.
It is expected that more names will follow before the end of the second semester, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you are a rabid WVU fan as the 2013 recruiting class of Devin Williams, Brandon Watkins, Elijah Macon and Morgantown High’s Nathan Adrian is rated among the Top 30 nationally. The departures also have opened up at least two more slots for additional recruits to the class.
Veteran head coach Bobby Huggins and his staff have been on the recruiting trail since the Mountaineers’ first round loss in the Big 12 tournament to Texas Tech.
* Not all news is bad coming out of Morgantown as the football team begins its final preparations for the annual Gold/Blue Scrimmage later this month.
Parkersburg South graduate Ron Crook already is helping develop some schemes that hopefully will open up the Mountaineers’ rushing game this fall. That can only help ease the transition of losing offensive stars like Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Shawne Alston.
Rushers eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark used to be a common feature of the Mountaineers’ attack. The absence of a dominant running back, as well as the team’s desire to go to a more high-powered passing attack, has been a source of concern for many fans over the past several years.
* On the local front, St. Marys senior Maggie Drazba was in town last Thursday night participating in the Parkersburg South Invitational at the Erickson All-Sports Facility. If you have not gotten an opportunity to witness the Blue Devil standout perform, you need to take a moment to do so.
The diminutive Drazba already has committed to be part of Sean Cleary’s program at WVU next fall, but before she does that, she wants to finish her prep career with a trio of wins at the state track meet.