There is plenty of medical news emanating from the WVU Coliseum.
West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins said Tuesday that standout post player Sagaba Konate has undergone minor knee surgery.
Konate, 6-foot-8, 260 pounds, helped lift West Virginia to the Sweet 16 of last season’s NCAA tournament. He had 116 blocked shots — many of them highlight-reel material — and averaged 10.8 points a game. He led the team in rebounding, averaging 7.6, and was invited to the most recent NBA combine. After participating, Konate decided to return to Morgantown.
Huggins also added news about another surgery
“Sags had minor knee surgery,” Huggins said. “Andrew [Gordon] just had minor surgery as well.”
Huggins said Gordon’s surgery was also on his knee.
“Just cleaning it up,” said the coach.
Gordon is a 6-9 sophomore who sat out last season while at Northwest Florida State College. The big man is said to be an athletic shot blocker who runs the floor well when healthy.
“Big and strong,” Huggins said.
The coach also gave an update on South Charleston High product Brandon Knapper. The redshirt freshman point guard is hoping to be medically cleared after a summer pulmonary scare.
“Other than Sags and Gordon, we’re waiting on [Knapper],” Huggins said. “We’ll know about Nap the second week of August and then we’ll be caught up.”
West’s cast removed
In addition to the above medical news, Huggins also said the cast is off the right wrist of 3-point-shooting forward Lamont West.
“His cast is off, but he won’t be cleared for full go until the middle of August,” Huggins said. “He’s only been able to run.”
Huggins has said in the past the injury gave West a chance to work on his left-handed ball skills.
“When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best big perimeter shooters in the country,” Huggins said. “He was shooting it extremely well [last season] until he hurt his wrist. His production declined whenever he hurt his wrist. There wasn’t any other reason.
“Go ahead and tear three ligaments in your wrist and see how well you shoot the ball.”
The coach said he thought the injury occurred in the regular-season WVU victory at Oklahoma.
Hip, hip hooray for Huggs
Huggins himself is headed to the operating room in the future, getting a second hip replacement surgery.
“It’s not a big deal,” Huggins said. “It’ll be a while from now.”
The coach, however, did go through pre-operation testing on Tuesday.
“I went to the hospital,” Huggins said. “The first time they measured me I was 6-4½. The second time I was 6-5. The third time I was 6-4½. And from the first time I got weighed to the last, I lost six pounds.
“It was a hell of a deal. I told them I wanted to stay there the rest of the day.”
He quickly added to that, “Not really.”
Huggins said he was getting ready to leave Morgantown on Tuesday for a youth basketball tournament in Las Vegas. The Mountaineers have a commitment from three-star combo guard Miles McBride from Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati. Also, they’ve been chasing four-star big man Oscar Tshiebwe from Kennedy Catholic for years. Word has Tshiebwe leaning toward WVU, but Kansas and Kentucky have now joined the fray.
West Virginia has but one senior — Esa Ahmad — scheduled to leave after the upcoming season, although Konate almost certainly will declare for the NBA draft as well.
“Ongoing,” Huggins said of the effort. “We have to see how banged up the banged-up guys are. We only have one senior. A lot of moving parts.”