Your Sunday buffet:
West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins is on a mission.
And, as always, he’s passionate about it.
Preseason basketball magazines are already being put together, and Huggins believes his leader, guard Jevon Carter, should be at the front of those honored heading into the season.
“He should be a preseason All-American,” Huggins said. “With anybody else anywhere else he’s easily a preseason All-American.”
Indeed, many vote on preseason All-America candidates based on their NBA potential. But Carter did lead WVU in scoring last season. He led the team in assists. And in steals. And in defensive rebounds. And in free throw shooting. And in minutes played.
Also, he did so for a team that finished second in the Big 12 regular season and tournament — for the second straight season. He did so for a Sweet 16 team.
Not a bad case, coach.
n While on the subject of Mountaineer basketball, here’s a neat note for state residents.
While speaking with Huggins, the subject of his big men came up. We talked about Sagaba Konate and Lamont West. We talked about Maciej Bender. We talked about newcomer Wes Harris. (“Athletic,” Huggins said of the latter. “With a nice perimeter jump shot.”)
Then I paused.
“Aren’t you going to ask about [Logan] Routt?” he asked.
I admit I was not. I mean, you have to love Routt. He’s 6-foot-11. He’s from Cameron High School — enrollment 358 — in the Mountain State. But he’s a walk-on who played just 11 games last season and had but 12 points.
This coming season?
“As of today, he’ll be the first ‘big’ off the bench behind Sags,” Huggins said. “He’s done a great job with his body.”
Now there’s a story worth watching.
n Some of the mock NBA drafts are already coming out for 2018.
What I noticed is Mountain State basketball fans will have chances to see some very highly rated prospects this coming season.
WVU will face one — sophomore Robert Williams of Texas A&M — right away, in the Armed Forces Classic in Germany. He’s projected as a lottery pick.
Also, you might have seen that West Virginia will play in the AdvoCare Invitational in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, over Thanksgiving. The bracket hasn’t been finalized yet, but one of the teams in the event is Missouri, which had a killer recruiting class. Among those signing with the Tigers was Michael Porter, projected to be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA draft.
Also, Mountaineer Big 12 rival Texas will sport potentially a top-three pick in power forward Mohamed Bamba, who was knocked this past week by his stepbrother for possible NCAA violations. And then, of course, Kentucky coach John Calipari will have his usual haul. Hitting Morgantown for the Wildcats will be lottery candidates Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox as well as Nick Richards and Jared Vanderbilt.
West Virginia will also face draft candidate Vince Edwards when the Mountaineers scrimmage Purdue. And Marshall will face lottery candidate Mitchell Robinson when the Herd faces Western Kentucky.
n And finally …
I had a chuckle with ex-WVU athletic director Ed Pastilong recently.
While talking about the Mountaineer baseball program and former coach Dale Ramsburg, Pastilong spoke of a business deal he had with “Rammer.”
“We got into real estate together,” Pastilong said. “Mobile homes. Well, after a few years, we realized we were better in the education field. We put more money into the homes than we made.”
Had to park their trailers.
Have a great Sunday.