HUNTINGTON — When Jarrod West entered the NCAA transfer portal, he wanted to step up the level of competition that he would face on a nightly basis.
As it turns out, an increase in competition level for West was always in the Cards.
On Wednesday, West committed to the University of Louisville and head coach Chris Mack for his final college basketball season in 2021-22.
"I just think that with the tradition they have, the history they have in that program, along with the success that Coach Mack has had as a head coach, that was really attractive to me and intrigued me," West said. "They feel like they have a chance to compete for championships -- whether the ACC championship or a national title — so I'm excited to be a part of that."
The ACC was the likely destination for West with Pitt also being among his finalists, along with Big Ten member Ohio State.
"That was a huge part of the decision and process," West said. "Playing on that stage, on that level, in front of those type of fans and against those types of players, that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to compete against those guys and in that league."
West's energy is one thing that has led him throughout his Marshall career, and even talking about playing against ACC teams each evening was an aspect in which he couldn't hold back the excitement.
One night West may be walking into prestigious Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on Duke, while the next he may be hosting North Carolina or Virginia or ACC champ Georgia Tech at the KFC Yum! Center in front of potentially 22,000 fans -- if things get back to some form of normal before next season.
"Man, that's all part of what you dream of as a kid," West said. "You watch all those games and now I'm going to get a chance to be a part of it, which is surreal. I'm excited to get to work. I'm looking forward to it."
In West, Louisville is getting a guard whom Marshall teammate Taevion Kinsey called "one of the best on-ball defenders in the nation."
Statistics back Kinsey's claim. West leaves Marshall as the school's all-time steals leader with 254, which places him second on Conference USA's all-time list.
In 2020-21, West finished as the conference's leader in assists per game (6.0) and steals (2.5) while also scoring 12.5 points per game, which was 17th in the league.
Those marks earned him All-Conference USA second-team accolades last season.
While West's nightly venues will change, the 5-foot-11 point guard from Clarksburg said his game will not. West is going to rely on what got him to this point in his career, which was attention to detail and his work ethic.
"I'm not going to change who I am," West said. "My work ethic, my grind, how I go about things, the mindset, how I compete, how hard I go, that's never going to change. I'm going to be consistent all the way through with my leadership, with my defense and with my approach to the game.
"At the end of the day, I'm a winner. That's what I want to do."