CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ye olde notebook:
If you read this space regularly, you know there's been intrigue surrounding next season's WVU men's basketball roster.But on Tuesday some of that intrigue was erased as the cleansing from last season continues.Around 6 p.m., forward Keaton Miles announced via Twitter he'll be leaving the team.
"I Really Want To Thank WVU For All The Support & Love They Showed Me While I Was Here," Miles tweeted. "Once A Mountaineer Always a Mountaineer. Love All."Thus, another domino has fallen.If you follow this space, you already know West Virginia coaches have been zeroing in on adding a point guard. They've been recruiting point guards Daxter Miles of Dunbar High in Baltimore and Shadell Millinghaus of Believe Prep in Rock Hill, S.C.Now, Mountaineer coach Bob Huggins has the scholarship to sign one. We'll see if one qualifies and pans out or if the coach goes elsewhere.He's also looking ahead. In recent days, Huggins offered a scholarship to one of the nation's top upcoming juniors in Derrick Jones of Archbishop Carroll High in Radnor, Pa., near Philadelphia.Jones is a 6-foot-6 lefty with an impressive wingspan who has been ranked as the No. 37 prospect of the 2015 class by Rivals and No. 13 by ESPN for his age group. He was a standout at the recent Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest.WVU will, however, have competition. Syracuse and Cincinnati, among others, have also offered and Jones has said he likes the Orange. There was some speculation by outsiders that Huggins might lose either Eron Harris or Terry Henderson, the bright spots of last season's poor WVU basketball season.Both, however, are in Morgantown for summer school and have a busy summer lined up.According to Huggins, Harris has been named to the NCAA's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and will attend a June meeting in Dallas. The committee is set up to provide the NCAA insight of experiences and offer input on rules, policies, etc.Both Harris and Henderson will also represent the United States via foreign tours. Huggins said Harris will do so in Estonia, while Henderson will travel to The Bahamas. (Thinkin' Henderson got the better end of that deal.)
And finally . . .Consider this a call for common sense. A call for reason.As you might know, May has replaced April in that old adage that says April showers bring May flowers. May has taken over in the shower department. Or so it seems.Area baseball coaches certainly understand. There's rain. And sometimes, when there isn't rain, WESTESTS are administered. And when WESTESTS are administered, there's no baseball nor softball nor any extracurricular activity. For some harebrained reason, there's a statewide moratorium."It's just crazy the way they do this for baseball," George Washington High coach Chad Campbell told our Rick Ryan on May 11.Indeed.
If anything, holding playoffs during the WESTESTS is the perfect time to do so. Kids have no homework. And why not let them outdoors to exercise? Why not give them something constructive to do?I called the state's Department of Education to ask if I'm missing anything. Communications director Liza Cordeiro said the moratorium is in place so students "don't have anything outside of academics to focus on" during that time.So, in other words, I'm not missing anything.People, wake up. Hopefully most students take the WESTESTS seriously and try to do their very best. But many also "Christmas tree" the tests, filling in answers as they would place bulbs on a tree - randomly. Students know the tests won't help or hinder progress toward graduation. (Teachers can, however, use results to pinpoint weaknesses and help students.)It boils down to this: What possible good is it to eliminate constructive extracurricular activities from teenagers, especially when it involves exercise? (Don't we have this mandate to get kids to exercise?) Also, is it more likely kids are centering their lives around the WESTESTS during that time - or congregating, diving into phones/games and hitting the mall?Don't fool yourselves, WVDE. Have your WESTESTS. And allow athletic contests to continue after the bell rings.Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, email@example.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.