Could This Be the Deepest West Virginia Hoops Roster Ever?
West Virginia head basketball coach Bob Huggins has had some really good teams over the years, but looking at this year's roster, I'm not so sure that he has ever had a deeper team than this one.
The roster is an almost near perfect balance of youth and experience with newcomers such as Isaiah Cottrell, Taj Thweatt, and Kedrian Johnson containing a lot of promise and a plethora of key returners like Derek Culver, Oscar Tshiebwe, Gabe Osabuohien, Miles McBride, Jordan McCabe, Emmitt Matthews Jr., Taz Sherman, Sean McNeil, and redshirt freshman Jalen Bridges. To put it briefly, this team is extremely deep. Ten players averaged at least 13 minutes per game last year and eight of those ten are returning in 2020-21.
When you look at the vast majority of teams throughout the country, you can see a pretty lofty drop off from a team's starting lineup to the their bench. That however, is not the case for West Virginia. Guards 1-5 can also shoot and facilitate the ball on offense and bigs 1-5 can all rebound at a high level and defend the paint.
When you don't consistently bring in the nation's top players like Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, and others, you have to get creative and find a way to compile a deep roster as Huggins has done. Top junior college guys mixed in with a transfer and several overlooked kids is a recipe that Huggins has cooked up for quite some time. The difference with this year's team compared to teams of the past is that they all have the ability to be "the guy" on any given night. We saw that at times last year despite the team's shooting woes.
So with that said, could this be the deepest team in school history?
I'm saying yes. The Final Four team from 2010 should certainly get strong recognition having guys like Da'Sean Butler, John Flowers, Wellington Smith, Kevin Jones, Truck Bryant, Devin Ebanks, Joe Mazzulla, Cam Thoroughman and others, but I would give the 2020-21 team a small edge in terms of depth.
The only other team that I think comes close to matching the depth is the 2005 team that saw Kevin Pittsnogle, Mike Gansey, Pat Beilein, D'Or Fischer, Joe Herber, JD Collins, Darris Nichols, Frank Young, and Tyrone Salley.
Will this group be able to match the run of the 2010 team all the way to the Final Four and maybe beyond? Time will tell, but you have to like their chances.
Do you think this is the deepest team in school history? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and discuss!
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