Ryan Boatright didn’t exactly start his Mountaineer career off with a bang, as one of the top high school recruits in the country invoked a little Lebron Jamesism by announcing, “I look forward to taking my talent elsewhere to the University of West Virginia.” Once he straps on the blue and gold, Boatright will notice that it’s actually WVU-West Virginia University, but nonetheless, it is likely Bobby Huggins and the Mountaineer faithful will overlook the misstep and be happy to see this dynamic guard running the point in the very near future.
Boatright is widely considered a top 50 high school recruit for the class of 2011, and during his announcement cited Bob Huggins record of success with smaller guards, specifically Nick Van Exel, when Huggins was at Cincinnati. While his initial playing time will be largely determined by the success of current junior Mountaineer point guard Darryl “Truck” Bryant, and incoming freshman Noah Cottrill, there is little doubt that Huggins sees Boatright as a tremendous talent. Widely considered the best scoring guard in the country, Boatright will immediately upgrade the firepower in the Mountaineer backcourt.
What remains to be seen is how Boatright’s decision will impact another top potential Mountaineer recruit, Jabarie Hinds. Hinds is from Mount Vernon, New York, and knows fellow former Mount Vernon prep standout and current Mountaineer star Kevin Jones quite well. Many thought that might give West Virginia an inside track in recruiting the star point guard. But with Boatright’s commitment and the freshman Cottrill already in Morgantown, it’s going to take one heck of a sales job by Huggins, if he still intends to pursue Hinds.
What really makes the Boatright decision great for Mountaineer fans is that all great players love to play with a top notch point guard, and what Boatright brings is immediate credibility to the Mountaineer’s 2011 recruiting class. With Huggins and the program in hot pursuit of two more top 100 recruits in center Michael Chandler and power forward Mike Shaw, it will be an enormous advantage for the coaches to extol the virtues of having top flight point guard Boatright delivering the ball to both big men in the post.
Signing day is Nov. 10, but it is being widely reported that verbal commitments are likely from both Shaw and Chandler within the next week. West Virginia will keep its collective fingers crossed that either one or both young men choose to join the talented Boatright in Morgantown.