Isaiah Cottrell is cleared to participate in West Virginia basketball activities, which should bolster the Mountaineers’ frontline next season.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Rothstein reported the news, which came to him via a conversation with Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins.
Cottrell saw his season end in January last year after suffering an Achilles’ tendon injury.
The 6-foot-10 forward redshirted after the injury. Before the injury, Cottrell was beginning to carve out a role off the bench, as he played in 10 games, averaging 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. The Mountaineers had hoped Cottrell would play more after the transfer of Oscar Tshiebwe in January. But Cottrell’s injury occurred at nearly the same time.
Cottrell was a MaxPreps All-American coming out of Huntington Prep (WV), where he averaged 18.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He was named the West Virginia High School Player of the Year in 2020.
There are open jobs in the Mountaineer frontcourt entering this season. Along with Tshiebwe’s transfer, forward Derek Culver chose to leave for professional basketball. Culver went undrafted by the NBA in July.
Gabe Osabuohein chose to come back to WVU for next season, using his extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 waiver. Along with Cottrell and Osabuohein, the Mountaineers took in former FIU forward Dimon Carrigan and former DePaul forward Pauly Paulicap as transfers. The Mountaineers also have talent to develop in forward Taj Thweatt and Seny N’Diaye.
Forward Jalen Bridges is back, and is poised to be a starter next season after taking over a starting job in January and averaging 5.9 points per game.
You can reach Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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