Long and lanky, WVU basketball’s Lamont West is hard to miss on the court.
At 6-foot-8, he is usually one of the bigger guys on the court. One would think he would be more of bruiser down low, but West’s ability to score from all angles of the court is what has gotten him so much playing time this season.
West is a sophomore who played sparingly as a freshman, but with Elijah Macon and Nathan Adrian no longer on the team, he had to step up and fill this role. Like Macon, he can get rebounds and like Adrian, he is reliable from the outside.
In the most recent game against Virginia, West scored 22 points which was a season-high for him. This season, he is averaging 11.8 points per game which is third on the team. He has also attempted the third-most 3-pointers on the team and is 15 of 49 from long range. Against Long Beach State, West was 5 of 10 from behind-the-arc which has been his best effort in that category.
West would get on the court for his defense and rebounding, which he has done well this season. West has grabbed 45 rebounds and created seven steals. On a team like West Virginia, which is predicated on aggression and second-chance opportunities, those kind of intangibles are needed.
But what is the most refreshing is West’s offensive developments. He seems to take high-percentage shots and doesn’t chuck up anything. He sets his feet and fires on 3-pointers, which is why head coach Bob Huggins allows him to shoot them freely.
West may see his playing time dwindle in the second half of the season when Esa Ahmad returns from suspension. But the way he has played during this out-of-conference schedule is a great sign of things to come.
The WVU basketball team has played well without Ahmad and West is a big reason why. He is making the most of this opportunity and has the trust and respect of Huggins. Even though he is from Cincinnati, West is probably too young to remember Huggins’ days as a Bearcat. But West could be on the path to some of Huggins’ greatest players like UC’s Kenyon Martin.