#12 West Virginia Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

West Virginia Mountaineers
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #3 Big 12
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After an abysmal 2018-19 season, West Virginia bounced back with a 21-win season last year. Star freshman Oscar Tshiebwe led the team in scoring and the Mountaineers’ defense looked more like it typically does under Bob Huggins. This year, West Virginia gets much of their production back from last season including four starters. The Mountaineers should continue playing at a high level in 2020-21 and will be one of the top teams in the Big 12.
2019-20 Record: 21-10, 9-9
Coach: Bob Huggins
Coach Record: 291-161 at West Virginia, 880-373 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jermaine Haley, Forward, 8.9 ppg
Chase Harler, Guard, 4.4 ppg
Brandon Knapper, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Logan Routt, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Oscar Tshiebwe, Sophomore, Forward, 11.2 ppg

Derek Culver, Junior, Forward, 10.4 ppg
Miles McBride, Sophomore, Guard, 9.5 ppg
Emmitt Matthews, Junior, Forward, 6.3 ppg
Sean McNeil, Junior, Guard, 5.5 ppg
Taz Sherman, Senior, Guard, 5.3 ppg
Jordan McCabe, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Gabe Osabuohien, Senior, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Jalen Bridges, RS Freshman, Forward
Isaiah Cottrell, Freshman, Forward
Kedrian Johnson, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Junior College
Seny Ndiaye, Freshman, Forward
Taj Thweatt, Freshman, Forward
Oscar Tshiebwe lived up to his five-star expectations as a freshman, earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors along with a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Tshiebwe led the Mountaineers in scoring (11.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.3) as a freshman and should only be better in his second season. Fellow big man Derek Culver had a strong sophomore season averaging 10.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Tshiebwe and Culver make up one of the most physical frontcourts in the nation. Miles McBride is poised for a big sophomore season after he averaged 9.5 points in just 22.2 minutes off the bench as a freshman. West Virginia also returns five other rotation players who averaged between 6.3 and 3.1 points, including two full-time starters. The Mountaineers also add a top junior college prospect in Kedrian Johnson. Johnson, a 6-3 guard, put up big-time stats in junior college as he was fourth in the nation in scoring with 25.5 points per game along with 5.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.4 steals. The Big 12 is a major step up in competition, but Johnson could give the Mountaineers a much-needed perimeter scorer. West Virginia also welcomes four freshmen, including Jalen Bridges who was a four-star, top-100 prospect in 2019 and redshirted last season. In this year’s class, Isaiah Cottrell is also a four-star, top-100 recruit. With one of the deepest and most experienced rosters in the nation, West Virginia is poised to be a top-15 team. Bob Huggins loves physical teams that can give 100% and having so many players available to him is a major advantage.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.3 (202nd in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.4 (15, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.2 (254, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.1 (16, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.0 (339, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 28.6 (338, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.2 (333, 9)
Rebound Margin: 8.1 (5, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.4 (235, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (291, 10)
Madness 2021 NBA Draft Rankings:
#32 Oscar Tshiebwe
#58 Miles McBride
Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#77 Isaiah Cottrell