WVU Basketball Needed Gabe Osabuohien and He Delivered

Daniel Woods

Gabe Osabuohien came to West Virginia with little track record of statistical success during his time at Arkansas but the impact he had in the 2019-20 season goes beyond the stat sheet.

As recently released by the university, Osabuohien passed both the eye test and stat test on the defensive end this season, tallying 24 charges taken, 34 steals, and a whopping 148 deflections.

As we discussed here on Mountaineer Maven during the season, his impact goes far beyond the stat sheet with his willingness to do the dirty work under his own basket makes him invaluable to the Mountaineers. Using the same metrics we looked over earlier, his final season numbers prove his worth to the team.

Osabuohien graded out by far as the best defender on the team, finishing with a defensive box plus-minus of 8.5, over a full point better than anyone else on the team. DBPM is a statistic that measures the number of points saved by a player per 100 possessions.

Additionally, he finished the season with the best steal rate on the team, taking the ball away on 3.8% of the defensive possessions he was on the floor for a West Virginia team that had loads of talent, but lacked a bit of grit on its own end. Osabuohien brought it in spades.

On the offensive side, he clearly struggled to score the ball, but the ability to pass out of the high post in Bob Huggins’ offense made him a valuable piece. Early in the season, Osabuohien had the third best assist rate on the team, sitting behind just the two point guards, Jordan McCabe and Deuce McBride.

Finishing the year, the big man actually surpassed McBride to end the year with assists on 18.3% of his offensive possessions. Despite struggling to put the ball in the basket, his impact on the offense was extremely important this year.

Every great team has someone who does the little things.

The 2010 Final Four team had Cam Thoroughman and Joe Mazzulla. In 2005, the Elite Eight team would not have been the same without J.D. Collins and D’Or Fischer.

For the 2019-20 Mountaineers, it was Gabe Osabuohien who made that impact and he’s got a great chance to do that in 2020-21 as well.

Subscribe at the top of the page to get all of the best WVU sports coverage from Mountaineer Maven.

Follow Mountaineer Maven on Twitter-@SI_WVU

Find Daniel Woods on Twitter-@DanielWoodsWV

Comments (9)
No. 1-4


It's going to be tough to score a lot of points because Huggs plays so many players. He just can't settle in on a lineup. Should probably go with 2 lineups. He has a real deep roster. Nobody averages 25 minutes a game. You might not find another team in the country not having one player averaging over 25 mins a game. Huggs averaged 31 minute a game in 93 games at WV. He played 3 yrs on average WV teams.

Schuyler Callihan
Schuyler Callihan


Don't be surprised to see Gabe have a huge jump on offense next year. He showed flashes of what he is capable of doing.


Gabe reminds me of Jonathon Holton or Elijah Macon. Total beasts on D !! Scoring? Not so much. HuggyBear keeps finding these guys & we're glad he does !! #HAILWV & GO MOUNTAINEERS !!