Lamont West will add key depth for WVU basketball


Lamont West redshirted as he came to Morgantown last season to join the WVU basketball team.

That time on the bench allowed him to become acclimated to college life, learn the schemes from WVU head coach Bob Huggins and get into solid playing shape for the upcoming season. The Mountaineers could sure use him on the court in the 2016-17 campaign.

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West, like another Mountaineer legend, Jerry West, is long and lanky and can play multiple positions on the floor. Of course, Lamont West has a long way to go to even be in the same breath as “The Logo.” He could, however, start small and be the next Nathan Adrian.

Adrian, of course, is still starring on the WVU basketball team as he enters his senior year with Coach Huggins and the Mountaineers. A year ago, Adrian started 18 games (mainly when Jonathan Holton was benched) and averaged 4.5 points per game. He is a reliable player inside and out and is best on offensive when he can drain a 3-pointer in the clutch.

West can be a similar type player with his offensive skill set. In high school, West averaged more than 17 points per game. He also added 7.7 rebounds per game and 2.6 blocks per game. While at Miller Grove High School in Georgia, he was honorable mention All-State and led his team to the state semifinals.

At 6-foot-8, 220 pounds, West can hold his own on the court against the best physical talent in the Big 12 Conference. That kind of size will be key for this season as both Holton and Devin Williams have moved on. Williams and West share a unique connection because they are both natives of Cincinnati.

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Further, Williams and West both went to Withrow High School in Cincinnati. West did, however, move to Georgia to complete his prep career in the south. Since coming back north, West is ready to shine and show the Mountaineers what he can do.

Coach Huggins obviously saw something in West to being him to Morgantown and it is up to him to reach his full potential. When comparing him to other forwards currently on the team, West will be behind rising sophomore Esa Ahmad, but likely above senior Brandon Watkins.

Ahmad started all 34 games he played in as a true freshman a year ago and averaged 4.9 points per game, with a .488 shooting percentage.

Watkins, meanwhile, saw his playing time diminish as the season went on. He appeared in 23 games, but never seemed to find his footing down low.

West will start the season on the bench, but could see solid playing time as the year goes on. His depth will be needed by Coach Huggins and he can work his way up the rotation. Like with any Huggins-led team, defense will be first. If West can show he can lock down the top offensive players in the Big 12, he will have a much bigger role on this WVU basketball team.