For the first time in months, West Virginia men's head basketball coach Bob Huggins met with the media to discuss a variety of topics. Among those that were discussed were the pending decisions of guard Miles McBride and Sean McNeil. Both entered their name into the 2021 NBA Draft shortly after the season ended and have been weighing their options ever since.
McBride appears to be the only one of the two that is getting serious interest from the NBA as he had already worked out for a handful of teams and recently participated in the NBA Combine.
Huggins said he recently spoke to McBride but that he is still unsure of which way he is leaning.
"He called me either last night or the night before and we talked for a while," Huggins said. "It was more updating me on his workouts and said he's keeping an open mind. He certainly wants to do what's in his best interest which I think we're all on board with."
As for McNeil, it's the same story; no answer just yet.
"No, nothing official yet on Sean's decision."
As always, Huggins does his best to help his players make the best decision possible for them and their future even if that means heading to the NBA early. Huggins didn't come right out and say that it would benefit McBride to return for one more year but he did bring up a comparison to former Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart that would have you thinking Huggins believes McBride should return.
"You take, for example, Marcus Smart, if he had came out after his freshman year he was projected to make $653k a year. He stayed. So the next draft year, he moved up in the draft and he made $3.7 million. I think those things are things that guys have to take a really hard look at. Where am I going to be in the draft? Who is on the team that potentially I'm going to get drafted by? There's a lot of things for 19-20-year-olds to think about. Do you go right away? Do you think you can come back and have a bigger year and move up?"
The consensus seems to be that McBride at the very best, will be a late 1st round pick. Returning to West Virginia for his junior season could catapult him up the draft board and who knows, maybe even become a lottery pick.
Although there's not much intel on McNeil's decision, it seems more likely that he will be back for his senior year. Huggins talked about how much his return would impact next year's team alongside Taz Sherman who has already announced that he will be taking advantage of his extra year of eligibility.
"Obviously those guys (Sherman & McNeil) were two of the best shooters in our league. Those two guys can really get going and make shots. I think both of them are going to continue to get better in other areas. We certainly need to pass it better and we need to guard better. I feel very confident that those guys will be able to do that."
The deadline for players to withdraw their names from the 2021 NBA Draft is set for July 7th. So in one way or another, some questions should be answered very soon.
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