Highlight Tape Smorgasbord (RBs)

When it comes to recruiting, its easy to fall into the trap of believing the hype/star system of whichever service you’re reading at that moment. 7 stars this, 3.9 second 40 that. In the end, it’s not worth too much — just ask Osa Nosa (or me, who will bitch about Osa Nosa).

Instead, why not just decide for yourself? It’s your turn to play scout. After all, if Tony Gibson can do it, any idiot can. So here is a sampling of highlight tapes from some of the higher rated (oh no: hype!) running backs WVU is currently recruiting.

Note: If you can find a video of Desmond Scott, post it in the comments.

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Memorial Day Got The Best Of Us

We’ll be taking a day or two to recover from our extended weekend.  Our apologies, but our livers need the rest.

Yeah…It’s THAT Good

“The 25314,” I ask myself, “you sexy, good looking zip code, I know Devin Ebanks gives West Virginia a solid recruiting class, but how good is it?” 

Well, recruiting rankings are out for the classes of 2008, and West Virginia – the place to which John Beilein swore you could not recruit – is ranked fourth in the country by ESPN.

Not to be outdone,  Scout.com’s new team rankings came out today and West Virginia is ranked 10th, right in front of Arizona, Duke, and Kansas.

The 25314 knew that Huggins could recruit – he brought the #1 class for 2007 to Manhattan, BFE – but I was hoping for top 20, not top 5. 

When Huggins finally arrived in Morgantown (15 years too late), there were questions if he really could recruit his typical players to Morgantown or could win with Beilein’s guys.  I thought it might take a couple years to build a successful team and start landing impressive recruits. 

I was wrong.  Man, was I wrong. Wrong-er than the Jersey kid who rolls out of bed on a Friday night and thinks, you know what would look really good with this black wife beater, candy-striped or black shirt, blowback haircut, bachne, and guyliner?  JAEGERBOMBS!!!

One point away from the Elite Eight, Top 10 recruiting class, and a lifetime contract.  Fairly decent year one. 

Not to mention a timeless and epic rant after the first Pitt game, in which Joe Alexander scored 5 points and grabbed 4 rebounds, where Huggins, without naming Joe, said, “I don’t know why I keep calling plays for him.  He doesn’t want the ball when the game is on the line, and he won’t get it anymore.  I’ll never call another play for him.  As far as I’m concerned he’s a screener from now on.”

I think Joe responded a little bit

Huggins first year in West Virginia has been so incredible good, I think a new letter needs to be invented to grade it.  Maybe ZJ.

It’s Been Nice Knowing You, Joe

The draft order is set and ESPN guru Chad Ford has released his first mock draft. In it, Joe Alexander is projected to go 13th to the Portland Trail Blazers. With this news, we can 99.99% bid adieu to the WVU career of Alexander — and that’s not a bad thing.

By going in the lottery, Alexander provides a huge boost to the recruiting efforts of CBH. Sure, we’ve signed a potential top 10 draft class, but now WVU — not just Huggins — can put players in the NBA. If Alexander succeeds, suddenly young players across the country are pretending to dunk like a WVU alum. Soon enough, we have two or three top 25 players in each class.

It’s been a long time coming for a WVU player to go early in the NBA draft. Hell, when Gordon Malone is your last player drafted, you know something isn’t exactly right. Seeing Alexander in New York would be a proud moment for all WVU fans.

Sure, he has another year of eligibility, but I doubt anyone would argue with Alexander’s decision. This is something very different than Slaton or Dingle or Reynaud. Those guys seemed to leave simply to leave. While eventually we’ll get over the saltiness from those departures, there’ll be no such feeling with Alexander.

Alexander could very well be the sleeper in the 2008 NBA draft. At the beginning of the year, he was barely on NBA radar screens. Now many teams consider him a potential lottery pick.

If you’ve come from nowhere to a potential lottery pick — like he has — you jump at that opportunity.

And if (and when) he makes that jump, Charley West and all WBGV will be wishing him the best of luck.

Because We Can (…And It’s The Truth)

What They’re Saying About Ebanks

When you land a top 10 recruit in basketball, there’s going to be quite a bit written about landing said recruit, especially when he’s easily the highest rated player left on the board. Luckily, we’re here to catch you up on most of it…

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Enough With The No-Name Recruits

Seriously, when is CBH going to start earning his money and recruit real players to Morgantown? Maybe it’s not possible, considering Beilein said it couldn’t be done.

Oh. Nevermind.

Devin Ebanks, a top 25 player (or top 10, depending on who you ask), has committed to the Mountaineers. Outside of guys like West and Hundley — don’t let me hear you say Hargett — Ebanks is the most heralded recruit to ever sign with the Mountaineers.

The comparisons on Ebanks are staggering.

Rudy Gay and Kevin Durant? Check.

“To me, he’s like a Rudy Gay or a Kevin Durant,” said AAU coach Lawrence McGuggins. “He’s just a very skilled player who causes problems with his size and his ability.”

Scottie Pippen? Check.

Carmelo Anthony?

Not quite yet.

Besides playing in some gyms that most resemble my basement, Ebanks’ game looks silky smooth. He is a fantastic ball handler, both slippery off the dribble and without the ball. His jump shooting is also a huge strength, with range extending past the perimeter. And oh yeah, he can jump.

Both his dunking and shot-blocking look effortless, two qualities that instantly recall his (hopeful) teammate, Joe Alexander. Considering his wingspan is over 7’0″, he has the athleticism and length to play between the 2 and 4 in college.

That will allow CBH a great deal of lineup flexibility. Lineups that could look something like this:

With Alexander:

  1. Mazzulla
  2. Ruoff
  3. Butler
  4. Ebanks
  5. Alexander

Without Alexander:

  1. Mazzulla
  2. Ruoff
  3. Butler
  4. Ebanks
  5. Smith