MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - And so the exodus has begun.
Maybe it's ended, too. Who knows?
If Bob Huggins does, he's not saying.
"You never say never,'' the West Virginia basketball coach said Monday. "But if somebody else is leaving I don't know about it now.''
In what was certainly a welcome relief to both fans and sportswriters alike - but particularly sportswriters - Huggins managed to tie a neat little bow around what was otherwise certain to be a drawn-out and speculative mess regarding his West Virginia basketball roster. In one fell swoop on Monday, he had the school's public relations machine announce that three players have been given their release and will transfer.
Jabarie Hinds. Gone
Aaron Brown. Gone.
Volodymyr Gerun. Gone.
Sure, the speculation will remain about others, but it sure is nice to have the first wave of questions answered.
Those questions, of course, centered on how Huggins would necessarily remake a team that he didn't like. He'd already recruited four new players for next season and was losing just three. Now, instead of being one over the scholarship limit of 13, he's two under it.
Let the recruiting begin.
It's not that the three who are leaving were bad eggs. Actually, quite the contrary.
"All three of them are great kids,'' Huggins said. "I've said that from the beginning.''
Great kids, maybe, but for whatever reason they just didn't fit. The departures of Brown and Gerun are not unexpected at all. Neither played the kind of minutes they would have liked.
Hinds is a different case. Highly touted when he arrived from New York, he started virtually every game during his two-year stay until late this past season. But for whatever reason, he always seemed a little out of control for a point guard and far too inconsistent with his shot for a shooting guard.
He, unlike the other two, seems destined to find another home at a Division I school. And he'll help someone. He just wasn't the right fit here.