West Virginia started its Big 12 slate shorthanded as it lacked three players, including its leading scorer and a key defensive leader, due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
As of Friday, Bob Huggins believes his roster will be at full strength when his Mountaineers host their first conference opponent in Kansas State on Saturday.
The trio, consisting of guard Taz Sherman, forward Gabe Osabuohien and guard Kobe Johnson, have been back with the team and will suit up, but Huggins says they are still behind after missing significant time off the court. In fact, he says they have spent “very little” time at practice since their absence.
“I wouldn’t say enough to get back in shape,” Huggins said.
Sherman’s return, however limited, is a welcome sight to WVU. As he leads the league in scoring, the WVU offense struggled to put points on the board without him and gave up 20 turnovers in the process. The team did get a boost from Jalen Bridges, who added 18 points and six rebounds in the loss to No. 17 Texas.
It is difficult to tell how much they will play in their return to the court, however. Even Huggins isn’t sure how many minutes any of the trio will get, but he trusts that they will be able to police themselves.
“I think that’s kind of up to them,” Huggins said. “Those guys have played enough and been around enough that they’ll tell me when they need a break.”
Beyond those updates, Huggins said that his team has no other issues heading into the Kansas State matchup, which tips off at 2 p.m. ET on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.