Huggins gone at WVU

Players Exodus at WVU After Huggins Resignation

24 June, 2023

Following the resignation of longtime Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins last week, West Virginia point guard Kerr Kriisa said to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on Friday that he had entered the transfer portal.

Before he decided to transfer from Arizona to West Virginia this spring, Kriisa was one of the top transfers available in the portal. According to NCAA regulations, Kriisa and others have a 30-day window to leave West Virginia due to the coaching change without having to sit out a season or request a waiver.

“It’s been a crazy and busy week,” Kriisa said, via ESPN. “I’m deeply sorry about the situation, as I was really looking forward to playing for Coach Huggins. Huggs will always be my guy. I’ve only known him for a few months now, but he is the most genuine man I have ever met. He is the man.”

Huggins officially resigned from his job last week, just a day after he was arrested for DUI in Pittsburgh. He said in a statement that he intended to “retire.”Huggins, 69, was detained on June 16 in Pittsburgh after police allegedly discovered his automobile blocking a road with the driver-side door open and one of the tires torn. Huggins allegedly blew a.210 on a breathalyzer and later failed a field sobriety test. Additionally, officers allegedly discovered a garbage bag filled with empty beer cans on his car’s passenger-side floor.

Huggins was arrested for a second DUI after being previously caught in 2004 while attending Cincinnati. Additionally, it was his second offseason incident. Huggins used an anti-gay epithet during a radio interview on a Cincinnati radio station last month, and West Virginia penalized him and suspended him.

Huggins, who played college basketball at Walsh, Akron, Cincinnati, Kansas State, and West Virginia, retired as the most successful active head coach in college basketball with 935 victories. He won 10 conference tournament championships and appeared in two Final Fours.

Since Huggins’ resignation, Kriisa is the second West Virginia player to use the transfer portal. Thursday saw the entrance of Tre Mitchell, while Friday saw Joe Toussaint follow Kriisa’s example. Before the 2017–18 season, Toussaint switched from Iowa to West Virginia, averaging 9.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for the Mountaineers. In Morgantown, Mitchell, who had previously played for Texas and UMass, averaged 11.7 points and 5.5 rebounds.

In his final season at Arizona, Kriisa averaged a career-high 9.9 points and 5.1 assists while shooting over 40% from the floor. He ranked first in the Pac-12 in assists and contributed to the Wildcats’ second consecutive Pac-12 tournament victory. The native of Estonia still has two seasons left to play.

Although he reportedly considered Memphis, Cincinnati, and Nebraska before deciding on West Virginia, it is unknown where Kriisa will play for next season. Although using the gateway now would assure he can go without incident while West Virginia looks for Huggins’ replacement, he is also not ruling out a return to the Mountaineers.

“I will still consider coming back when the new coach is announced,” Kriisa said, via ESPN. “For now, I’m entering the portal, and want to get this figured out as soon as possible.”

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