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WVU relying on two freshmen guards down the stretch of the season

Over the last couple of months, there have been a limited number of bright spots for the West Virginia basketball team. With an offense that struggles often, it’s hard for WVU to find any production outside of Taz Sherman. 

After the 2022 season, Sherman and multiple other guards will move on. That leaves the question, what will the backcourt look like and what does the future hold at the guard position for WVU? 

Bob Huggins has plenty of roots in the state of Ohio, as he has brought in multiple rounds of talent from the Buckeye state over the years.  Huggins has two freshmen guards from Ohio on his roster this year, with Kobe Johnson from Canton, and Seth Wilson from Lorain. 

Throughout the season, Wilson and Johnson have had a limited role, but over the past month, the duo has seen the floor a lot more. 

In his first 10 games played, Seth Wilson averaged just five minutes per game. Wilson has seen a big increase in his minutes since WVU played Baylor on Jan. 31, as he has played 13 minutes in three of the last four games. 

In his limited role against Baylor, Wilson made two three-pointers in only two minutes played, including one that beat the buzzer before halftime.   

In a must win game for WVU against Iowa State, Wilson stepped up. Wilson scored seven straight points to give WVU an early double-digit lead, calling his own number once in the process. 

WVU star Taz Sherman spoke on Wilson’s play after the Iowa State game. 

“He plays with such confidence,” Sherman said. “He reminds me of me a little bit, just a different build. You have to have that confidence ability and he was born with it. One thing he can learn as he gets older is timely shots.” 

With Wilson’s strong build and confidence to shoot the ball, he could become an asset for Huggins’s team down the stretch of the 2022 season and into next year. 

As for Kobe Johnson, he has also seen an increase in minutes over some of the recent games. Johnson was promoted to the starting lineup for the games against Iowa State and Oklahoma State when Coach Huggins made a lineup change. 

Johnson has seen at least eight minutes in five of WVU’s last six games, so it’s just a matter of time before he starts getting more offensive looks and shots. 

In 24 games played, Johnson has proved to be able to handle the ball, as he has only six turnovers on the season compared to seven steals. 

Coach Huggins spoke on Johnson’s play after starting in the win against Iowa State. 

“I thought Kobe Johnson took care of the ball, got it where it was supposed to go,” Huggins said. “He did a good job handling it.” 

Johnson was Ohio’s Division I player of the year and a nominee for the McDonald’s All-American game, so the talent is there. Going forward, Johnson could be leading the WVU offense and bringing the ball up the floor consistently. 

As WVU desperately searches for wins down the final stretch of the season, don’t be surprised if Huggins goes to Wilson or Johnson for a spark. While there are plenty of players departing from the program after the season, the future of the backcourt appears to be bright. 

Photo by Wesley Shoemaker, Blue Gold Sports

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