WVU addressing holes in a hurry
MORGANTOWN -- West Virginia basketball is busy addressing both the present and the future.
Jabarie Hinds, a point guard from Mount Vernon (N.Y.) High, became the third player in the past two days to announce his plan to join the 2011 recruiting class at WVU. Point guard Ryan Boatright and center Eric Forsythe declared their intentions Monday.
Also Monday, guard Jonnie West, who said in May he would not return to the team for his senior season, was back practicing with the Mountaineers. In what capacity is not yet clear, but every indication is he's back on scholarship for his fifth and final season of eligibility.
West, who redshirted in the 2006-07 season and played sparingly the past three years, graduated in May and decided he'd focus on his work toward a master's degree in business administration this year.
The Mountaineers signed four players for the 2010 recruiting class to replace West and fellow seniors Da'Sean Butler and Wellington Smith, plus Devin Ebanks, who forfeited his final two seasons of eligibility for the NBA draft.
Guard Noah Cottrill, center Kevin Noreen and forward Darrious Curry made it to campus, but center David Nyarsuk never enrolled. That created a scholarship opening for WVU.
Curry was later medically disqualified, which brought an end to his career before it ever started, and dropped WVU down to 11 scholarship players.
With only those 11, Cottrill and Noreen in their early stages of practice, senior guard Casey Mitchell indefinitely suspended and walk-ons only able to do so much, West was welcomed back and scoots into the scholarship void created by Nyarsuk's absence.
Curry's scholarship will come off WVU's count if the NCAA grants a medical hardship waiver. That will allow him to stay on a non-athletic scholarship for as long as he's at WVU.
With West, the Mountaineers now have five seniors on the roster, which means five scholarships are available for next season. They're all now with the first day of the national signing period coming Nov. 10.
Hinds, Boatright and Forsythe join forwards Tommie McCune and Aaron Brown, who pledged over the summer.
Hinds plays at the same high school WVU forward Kevin Jones played at. The 6-foot, 170-pound Hinds averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 steals and 4.0 assists last season. He also considered UCLA, UNLV and UConn, but picked WVU even after Boatright's announcement Monday.
Rivals.com lists Hinds at No. 26 among players at his position in his class while Scout.com has Hinds at No. 13.
Forsythe is a 6-10, 210-pound center from Brunswick (Ohio) High who only started playing organized basketball when he was in eighth grade. He was limited this past season and missed games with a fractured vertebrae. He averaged only five points and seven rebounds.
Forsythe had offers from mostly mid-major programs, including Chattanooga, Akron, Toledo, Duquesne, James Madison and Wright State, but was a star over the summer and grabbed greater attention.
Ohio State offered, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer said Tuesday the Buckeyes rescinded their offer before Forsythe picked WVU.
Boatright's name went national in 2007 when he committed to USC and Coach Tim Floyd after his middle school graduation. Floyd was fired in 2009 and is now the coach at UTEP. Boatright picked WVU Monday at a press conference at his East Aurora (Ill.) High.
The 5-11 Boatright averaged 26.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and as a junior. He's ranked the No. 11 point guard prospect nationally by Rivals.com and No. 16 by Scout.com. He had offers from DePaul, Providence and Miami.