#24 West Virginia Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

West Virginia Mountaineers
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #4 Big 12
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West Virginia finished in a tie for third in the extremely tough Big 12. They earned a three seed in the NCAA Tournament, but were upset by Syracuse in the second round. With three starters gone, the Mountaineers have a little reloading to do, but Coach Bob Huggins has proven time and time again that he can get the most out of his roster.
2020-21 Record: 19-10, 11-6
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Bob Huggins
Coach Record: 318-171 at West Virginia, 900-382 overall
Key Departed Players:
Miles McBride, Guard, 15.9 ppg
Derek Culver, Forward, 14.3 ppg
Oscar Tshiebwe, Forward, 8.5 ppg
Emmitt Matthews Jr, Forward, 7.7 ppg
Jordan McCabe, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Taz Sherman, Senior, Guard, 13.4
Sean McNeil, Senior, Guard, 12.2 ppg
Jalen Bridges, Sophomore, Forward, 5.9 ppg
Gabe Osabuohien, Senior, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Isaiah Cottrell, Freshman, Forward, 1.6 ppg
Kedrian Johnson, Senior, Guard, 1.3 ppg
Taj Thweat, Sophomore, Forward, 0.4 ppg
Seny N’diaye, Sophomore, Forward, 0.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Dimon Carrigan, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Florida International
Malik Curry, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Old Dominion
Kobe Johnson, Freshman, Guard
Jamel King, Freshman, Forward
James Okonkwo, Freshman, Forward
Pauly Paulicap, Senior, Forward, Transfer from DePaul
Seth Wilson, Freshman, Guard
Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil are back after tallying double digits in the scoring column a season ago. Those two will provide West Virginia with a couple talented and proven outside shooters. Malik Curry will step in and attempt to replace Miles McBride, a second-round selection in the 2021 NBA Draft. Curry spent two seasons at Old Dominion where he averaged 15.7 points and 3.6 assists in 2020-2021. Kedrian Johnson expects to see a larger role this year as well. Jalen Bridges, a 6-7 wing, started 19 games as a freshman and averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds. He can shoot the long ball and defend multiple positions. The same is true of Isaiah Cottrell, if he can recover from an Achilles injury. Having Bridges and Cottrell’s versatility will be very important since Coach Huggins will likely play four guards or wings with one big man in the middle. Gabe Osabuohien is only 6-7, but he can man the paint all by himself. The senior is not going to score a ton, but he is a superb defender. Seny N’diaye will back up Osabuohien and transfers Dimon Carrigan and Pauly Paulicap should fit into the regular rotation. Both are great rebounders and that is mostly what they will be asked to do at West Virginia. Overall, this group should be able to play the more traditional West Virginia defense that was lacking at times last season. As long as the frontcourt can manage to replace Culver’s toughness in the frontcourt, the Mountaineers will be in the NCAA Tournament.  
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.3 (43rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.0 (224, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.9 (233, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.7 (224, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (153, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.4 (56, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (132, 3)
Rebound Margin: 2.6 (98, 4)
Assists Per Game: q4.0 (108, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (84, 5)