WVU basketball: Esa Ahmad getting it done with double double


Esa Ahmad has been an interesting case for the WVU basketball team since he arrived on campus two years ago.

He’s had many ups and downs on the court and his suspension this year just tipped the iceberg against him. Even since coming back to the lineup a month ago, Ahmad has been streaky at times.

But that’s been the case for most of his career. Some nights he’ll hit six jumpshots and throw down two massive dunks. Other nights, he’ll throw the ball away on back-to-back possessions.

For the past two games, Ahmad has truly lived up to his potential. On Monday against Texas Tech, he scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 10-point victory. Before that, he starred against Iowa State with an 18-point output and 11 rebounds. He won’t be able to do that every game but it really is what should be expected with a player of his potential.

Ahmad was brought in to be a player like Devin Ebanks. He plays that way in spurts and maybe next year when he will be counted on to be the team’s main source of offense, he will deliver on a more consistent basis.

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Ahmad will need to turn into a true disciple of head coach Bob Huggins. Huggins has transformed players like Ahmad into stars. Not just Ebanks, but Joe Alexander greatly benefitted from Huggins’ leadership to go along with his growing athletic body. Huggins was going after Ahmad for a long time in high school as he continued paving his way into the hotbed of Ohio high school hoops.

Ahmad chose the WVU basketball team over choices that included Ohio State. It’s hard for anyone in the Buckeye State to say no to the Buckeyes. Ahmad showed faith in Huggins and he needs to keep doing that as a full-fledged Mountaineer now.

It seems like the tide is turning for Ahmad because he is realizing his true potential and he is realizing what it takes to flourish in the Big 12. Ahmad has listened to seniors Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles and it’s the hope that he will take their example and employ it into his own game next year. After the Texas Tech game, he told reporters what those two guys meant to the WVU basketball team.

"“They kind of paved the way for all of us. They kind of rebuilt the program, too, with the ‘Press Virginia’ and JC with historical numbers. It’s real big."

Ahmad has averaged 10.4 points per game this season which is fourth on the team and he is one of five players to average double figures in scoring for the Mountaineers. Next year, the WVU basketball team will be without the top two leading scorers in Carter and Miles.

Ahmad will also, hopefully, play a full season which will give him more time to see game action and develop accordingly as a senior leader. There is just so much potential to Ahmad’s athletic potential, it would be a shame for it to go to waste.

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These past two games are just a taste of what Ahmad can do for this program. He can get a double double and be on the come up for so much more.