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Projecting WVU's Starting Five

Bob Huggins will have to shake some things up with Deuce remaining in the draft.

Friday night, Greg Carey of MetroNews reported that Miles McBride has informed WVU head coach Bob Huggins that he will remain in the 2021 NBA Draft and forgo his junior and senior seasons.

Saturday afternoon, Sean McNeil announces that he would return to school for one final year and withdraw from the 2021 NBA Draft. So now that the roster appears to be set for the 2021-22 season, we take a look at what the starting lineup might look like for the Mountaineers. 

Malik Curry

With McBride gone, Bob Huggins will need to have someone who can handle the point. I don't think you can trust Sherman or McNeil to handle those duties so it would make the most sense to start Curry, who was previously the starting point guard at Old Dominion. He led the Monarchs in scoring, assists, and steals in each of the past two seasons.

Sean McNeil

I think you could go either way with this. McNeil and Sherman are very similar and have a similar impact on the game. They will both see a ton of playing time but I think Sherman feels more comfortable coming off the bench which is what some guys prefer. Jaysean Paige was the same way. Huggins tried to turn him into a starter but he didn't produce at the same level as he did coming off the bench. McNeil was in the starting lineup for much of last year, so I'll give him the nod.

Jalen Bridges

In my opinion, and I think it's one that many others share, Jalen Bridges is a star in the making for the Mountaineers. You could tell as the season went on last year that he was beginning to feel more and more comfortable with his role and what he was asked to do. He shot the three-ball extremely well and was very active on the offensive glass. There shouldn't be any more nerves or jitters that he'll have to work through. Now, he can just go out and play and potentially become one of the team's most consistent players.

Gabe Osabuohien

Osabuohien will be in the starting lineup as long as Huggins decides to go with a two-guard lineup instead of three. He wants Bridges to move back to the three so that has me believing the four spot will be there for Osabuohien. WVU was atrociously bad defending the paint a year ago and having Osabuohien on the floor in an expanded role should help fix some of those issues. Huggins will also have elite shot-blockers Dimon Carrigan and Pauly Paulicap coming off of the bench.

Isaiah Cottrell

It took Cottrell a few games to really get settled in last year but started to put it all together just before he suffered a torn Achilles and was ruled out for the season. He will replace Derek Culver who is off to the professional ranks and even though he's got some big shoes to fill, Cottrell should be able to handle the task. He has a good mid-range jumper and can step out and shoot the three-ball on occasion - something Culver could not do. 

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