MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It’s been just over three weeks since former Manhattan forward Jose Perez announced he was transferring to West Virginia.
Perez, voted as the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year prior to entering the transfer portal, is in Morgantown, and has enrolled in classes at West Virginia University for the spring semester.
The 6-foot-5 fifth-year senior is with his new team, but is currently unable to practice. West Virginia and Perez are waiting on word from the powers that be, which they hope will give their newest player the go-ahead to suit up as soon as possible.
“He’s got to [get cleared],” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said Monday. “We have a waiver sent into the NCAA, and we’re waiting for a response.”
Huggins was asked how difficult it can be to add a player into the rotation after a season gets underway. The Hall of Famer doesn’t believe it will be an issue for two reasons.
One: his experience with bringing on new players. Two: the Bear has a good understanding of who he’ll send into a game, and who he won’t.
“I had to do that Akron. I had to do that at Cincinnati a time or two,” said Huggins. “I play people because they deserve to play. I don’t play people because of their name, or who they think they are, or somebody else thinks they are. I play them because we’re going to try to play the best guys because we’re going to try to win.”
Huggins added that his regular rotation is still a fluid mix of players.
Four Mountaineers are averaging double-figures in scoring, led by Erik Stephenson’s 14 points per game. Ten WVU players are averaging at least 13 minutes played per contest so far this season.
Perez averaged 18.9 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game a season ago. The forward shot 39.9 percent from the floor, 25.9 percent from three-point range, and 80.2 percent from the free-throw line during the 2021-22 campaign.
The Mountaineers head to Portland, Oregon, to compete in the Phil Knight Legacy tournament, beginning at 10 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day.