Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
After West Virginia coach Bob Huggins suspended guard Casey Mitchell Monday for a violation of team rules, the Mountaineers are down to eight scholarship players.
Mitchell, a 6-foot-4 guard from Savannah, Ga., who was the 2009 national junior college player of the year at Florida’s Chipola College, was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 16.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Mitchell had started 17 of the team’s 18 games and averaged 28 minutes.
The Mitchell development came one day after sophomore big man Danny Jennings of Staten Island left the team bench during the Mountaineers’ 56-46 win over South Florida.
“How do I put it?” Huggins told reporters. “Yeah, it’s unexcused — inexcusable — never to be seen again.”
The 6-8 Jennings had started three games before Sunday as Huggins sought to shake up the lineup.
“Can we talk about the guys who play?” Huggins said. “Because he didn’t play anyways, and hasn’t played. The truth of the matter is he’s been a nonentity.”
Jennings averaged 2.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 8.6 minutes.
He did not dress for West Virginia’s 82-66 win over VMI on Nov. 27 because of what Huggins called poor practice habits.
“We started him to try and get some other guys motivated and things, and he did work hard in practice for a while, but look at his career stats,” Huggins said. “We didn’t just lose Kevin Jones, you know what I am saying?”
Freshman guard Noah Cottrill was indefinitely suspended at the beginning of the season and withdrew from the university two weeks ago. Freshman forward Kevin Noreen remains on the team but underwent season-ending knee surgery Jan. 12.
David Nyarsuk, a 7-1 center, did not qualify academically and landed at Mountain State (WV) Univeristy.
Freshman Darrious Curry was ruled medically ineligible before the season began.
Now the Mounties (13-5, 4-2 Big East) are down to eight scholarship players.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.