To say that the West Virginia men’s basketball program has had a bad week would be an understatement.
After losing to the Syracuse Orange in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, the players had a meeting on Monday when they got back to Morgantown, according to guard Sean McNeil. What came out of that meeting were some tough decisions to be made.
It all started with Taz Sherman hinting that he was gone, as teammates showed him love in the comments, as they were appearing to be goodbye messages.
Taz Sherman: My most memorable season by far in my basketball career. Thankful I can go out and give my all with my brothers. 12 out 💙 maybe.
Jordan McCabe: Been a pleasure. Love you bro.
Sean McNeil: Love you family
Gabe Osabuohien: Certified 💙
Isaiah Cottrell: Love you fam 🖤🖤
Miles McBride: Love you brotha
Sherman did end up replying to a comment by a fan saying, “I didn’t confirm anything yet btw (by the way), it just could [be] my last game not sure yet 🤷♂️.”
Everything was quiet until Jordan McCabe and Sean McNeil hit us with back-to-back breaking news around lunchtime on Wednesday. McCabe announced entering into the transfer portal, while McNeil announced he was entering his name into the 2021 NBA Draft.
As McCabe is most likely gone, McNeil will most definitely come back to the team next year. The junior guard can go get advice from NBA scouts on what he needs to work on during the off-season, and take his name out and come back to WVU.
The departures weren’t finished, as starting forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. also entered his name into the transfer portal. A starter on a top 15 team entering the transfer portal? I get why WVU fans are confused and upset, but there’s no need to be.
As of Thursday night, there were 850 basketball players in the transfer portal, doubling the number of players at this time last year. West Virginia doesn’t have a transfer problem, the NCAA does. Let’s take a look at some other questionable transfers announced this week.
- Walker Kessler, starter on North Carolina
- Xavier Pinson, starter on Missouri
- Earl Timberlake, starter on Miami (FL)
- Qudos Wahab, starter on Georgetown
- Jalen Cone, great role player for Virginia Tech
- Marcus Carr, star on Minnesota (Not questionable but a player with his skills usually isn’t in the transfer portal)
This list doesn’t even include the mass departures at Penn State (7), Indiana (5) and Cincinnati (5). If tournament teams like North Carolina, Missouri, Georgetown and Virginia Tech are losing important players, I think WVU will be fine.
With McCabe and Matthews leaving, this opens the door to add a transfer from the portal. West Virginia may lose two quality players but will have an opportunity to add one or two to the team. Here are a couple of players to seriously keep an eye on.
- Jaemyn Brakefield, Duke, Played at Huntington Prep with Cottrell and Seny Ndiaye
- Jarrod West, Marshall, Born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Father played at WVU from 1995-98.
Could be a reach on adding them to the team, could not, who knows.
What West Virginia fans do know is that they’ll be competitive still next year with Miles McBride, Derek Culver and whatever supporting cast is around them. They are coached by a future hall of fame coach in Bob Huggins, I think they’ll be alright.
(Top Photo: Dale Sparks)