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June 14, 2014

Evaluating WVU's Incoming JUCO Talent

The West Virginia basketball program scrambled to bring in talent following the departures of Eron Harris, Terry Henderson and Remi Dibo.

Head Coach Bob Huggins was forced to hit the recruiting trail hard in the months of April, May and June due to the attrition in his program. In doing so, Huggins and his staff reeled in Tarik Phillip, Jaysean Paige and BillyDee Williams, three junior college standouts late in the recruiting cycle.

"What they did, was just get good players. Phillip, Paige and Williams all can play right away at that level," said junior college basketball expert, Brad Winton of JUCORecruiting.com on WVSports.com Radio Wednesday evening. "They also got guys, that are different. Some may say they just have three more guards, but they're still different enough where (Bob) Huggins can put them all out on the court together and they'd be fine."

Williams was added and signed last week as the final addition to the class of 2014 becoming the third junior college player in the group. Playing as the sixth man for South Plains C.C. in 2013-14, Williams contributed on the wing and proved he could score the ball.

"He (Williams) is a very good shooter with deep range, but he's also a streaky shooter. If he hits a couple in a row and keeps going, he can really help spread the floor out," Winton said.

WVU looses three-point shooting in Harris, Henderson and Dibo but Williams can be part of the solution to replace that production.

"He can come in knock down jumpers and three, and it's hard to find guys to shoot the ball well at any level anymore," Winton added.

Williams is also supposed to help Huggins on the defensive side of the ball. At six-foot-five and with a good frame, he has the ability to matchup with all different kinds of players on the offensive side. He has the ability to matchup with anything from a shooting guard to an undersized power forward.

Like Williams, Paige is expected to show of his versatility in Morgantown. The only difference is where Williams' versatility comes on the defensive side, Paige's comes on the offensive end of the floor.

"Paige can do everything offensively, but he's more of scorer. He can score the ball, averaging about 22 points per game this year," said Winton. "He shot nearly fifty percent from three, but he won't be just catch and shoot. He can get to the rim off the dribble. He can score it in multiple ways from mid-range to dribble and drive."

Phillip will add as a scorer as well playing either behind Juwan Staten in a backup role or next to him as another scoring threat for West Virginia.

As the 2014 class is finally finished, Huggins and his staff are already hitting the junior college ranks hard to add to its 2015 class. Highly touted junior college stars Luis Montero and TJ Dunans are being targeted by the Mountaineers.

"Montero and Dunans are major athletes. Those are both no-brainer, high major guys," said Winton. "Those guys are top five in the country for junior college prospects right now. They will be impact guys wherever they go."

Montero averaged over 15 points per game for Westchester Community College and Dunans starred at Columbia State in Tennessee during the 2013-14 season.

"Recruitment wise they both have a ton of stuff going on. Montero I've heard a lot going on with him especially with West Virginia being in there early, Arizona too." said Winton. "Same with Dunans. But he's got Georgia and Auburn especially because of the region he's in down in Tennessee. He's in the middle of all that SEC stuff."

WVU will have to stay on both Montero and Dunans, if they want them to come play in Morgantown.

"They're going to have to battle to get those guys, but they're being mentioned early, which is important for junior college kids. JUCOs seem to hold a little more loyalty to coaches and schools that speak to them first," Winton said. "And every time I hear about those guys, I hear West Virginia is involved, so that's good."

To hear Winton on WVSports.com Radio click the link below and scroll to the 28:06 mark.

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