Many sweeping changes have come through college athletics, and one of the most impactful changes has been made in the transfer portal with student-athletes—now allowed to play immediately at their new institution.
Another aspect that has become a constant in college basketball has been the ability of players to enter their name in the NBA Draft without losing their eligibility to return and continue playing college basketball at their school.
There are two players currently on the West Virginia basketball roster that are doing that right now, Miles McBride and Sean McNeil.
West Virginia’s Bob Huggins has seen major roster turnover with new additions from the transfer portal and incoming freshmen but still doesn’t have a clear roster for 2021. How long will it take for Huggins to have his roster set for the year?
“Probably after the first three or four games,” Huggins said on knowing what his roster will look like for a season. “It’s rough with the advent of the [transfer] portal of which they can use whenever they want to use it and just the ability to transfer and the immediate eligibility for first-time transfers. It’s never been this fluid.”
Both McBride and McNeil have until the July 7 deadline to make their final decisions if they will return to Morgantown or keep their name in the draft and take a shot at playing professionally. This is an interesting feature of college basketball in today’s game, but it makes things a little more difficult on coaches like Huggins.
There has been a significant rise in college basketball players entering the transfer portal each year and now many of those players are unable to find new schools. Huggins has made it clear that the NCAA is behind this transformation and not coaches.
“They’re going to find a place to play whether it be Division II or Division III, but it’s not what they wanted in any way shape or form,” Huggins said on players remaining in the transfer portal. “Coaches didn’t do this. This is the NCAA.”
“These are guys (NCAA) that have never coached, never played and they’ve come up with an idea thinking that it would be good for our game. First of all, it’s not their game. They just reap the money from it.”
Huggins has also seen an issue arising with agents giving bad advice to college players that have yet to reach their potential before entering the NBA Draft.
“There are good agents and there are bad agents,” Huggins said. “They are guys that prey on young people, we’ve had that here. We’ve had a guy come in here and prey on young people.”
"The saddest thing to me is, every summer, someone comes back and says ‘Huggs I wish I would’ve listened to you,’" Huggins said. "It’s hard for them to understand. I don’t care one way or the other—other than the fact that I want what’s in their best interest.”