WVU basketball: Esa Ahmad’s scoring touch will come in handy

LUBBOCK, TX - JANUARY 13: General view of Esa Ahmad
LUBBOCK, TX - JANUARY 13: General view of Esa Ahmad /

Esa Ahmad’s return to the WVU basketball team didn’t exactly go as positive as possible. If the Mountaineers win, it’s a little different story.

The WVU basketball team lost a heartbreaker to Texas Tech, 72-71, on Saturday. Ahmad was the Mountaineers’ second-leading scorer with 17 points. He came off the bench and shot 50 percent from the floor.

Ahmad’s presence adds a new dimension to the WVU basketball team. He may take some minutes away from freshman Teddy Allen, as was shown in the Texas Tech game, and starters Wesley Harris and Lamont West may be sitting on the bench in favor of Ahmad.

Ahmad may or may start against Kansas on Monday, but he will be starting sooner rather than later. For the past two years, Ahmad was a full-fledged starter for the Mountaineers. He showed some lapses in judgement on several occasions, but he may just be the most athletic force this team has in its lineup.

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Ahmad can take over a game with his speed and quickness. He can drive to the hoop and finish around the rim like a professional. He has shown this next-level talent ever since he was in high school when he was a highly-touted prospect coming out of Cleveland.

Ahmad was one of head coach Bob Huggins’ biggest recruits at West Virginia. He has certainly panned out nicely but there is a lot of work left to be done in his development. Ahmad has a lot to prove this season, especially to himself and Huggins. He let his team down with his offseason mistake, which warranted his suspension. He has had some time to think about it and get back into playing shape.

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He has the potential to score 17 or more points in every game he plays. Against Kansas, he has a real nice opportunity to get back to his high-flying ability. The best is yet to come for Ahmad and the Mountaineers will greatly benefit from his return.