Possible 2018-19 starting five
G: James Bolden
F: Esa Ahmad
Who is lost: The Mountaineers graduate what has been the heart and soul of their team in senior point guard Jevon Carter, who was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Carter’s wingman in the backcourt, Daxter Miles Jr., is gone, as well. Together, the two averaged almost 30 points per game while fueling the bulk of the playmaking.
Who is added: Knapper will finally join the Mountaineers on the court after sitting out last season with a knee injury. He has the intangibles and the talent to be West Virginia’s next all-league point guard. He’ll team up with incoming ESPN 100 signee Jordan McCabe to give the Mountaineers a tantalizing young combination at point. Derek Culver and Andrew Gordon will join a deep frontline.
What it means for next season: Carter and Miles won’t be easily replaced, But Knapper and McCabe plus multi-talented forwards Harris, Ahmad, Konate and Lamont West will give coach Bob Huggins plenty to work with as he retools without Carter.
Trending: Up. The Mountaineers have really been on a roll these past four seasons. Even minus Carter, there’s no reason why West Virginia shouldn’t be back in the NCAA tournament for a fifth consecutive year.