College basketball analyst Andy Katz has West Virginia at No. 13 in his "Way-too-early Power 36."
"Deuce McBride will make a run at Big 12 player of the year," said Katz.
Katz put together this, knowing that rosters may see a drastic change by the time the 2021-2022 academic calendar rolls over.
West Virginia guards Miles "Deuce" McBride, Sean McNeil, and Taz Sherman have all put in the paperwork to go through the NBA draft process. "Glue guy" Gabe Osabuohien announced he is returning for his final season. All-Big 12 first-teamer forward Derek Culver has not made any decisions at this time but is expected to return for his senior season.
West Virginia started last season at No. 15 in the AP poll and climbed into the top five as the season rolled along and was in the top 10 heading into the NCAA tournament before being knocked out in the second round.
The Mountaineers have all the pieces to be a legit national championship contender if the remaining roster returns. Head coach Bob Huggins added one of the nation's top shot blockers in Florida International transfer Dimon Carrigan, and Isaiah Cotrell should return to the lineup after suffering an Achilles injury early in the season.
If West Virginia returns its roster, I would not be surprised if the Mountaineers inch closer to the top five as the season nears.
Andy Katz Power 36
7. Ohio State
13. West Virginia
15. Florida State
16. Michigan State
18. North Carolina
21. Wichita State
29. Oklahoma State
31. St. Bonaventure
33. Georgia Tech
35. Oral Roberts
36. Colorado State
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