The Dominion Post  
 

WVU unsure of Ahmad’s return date

Created on:   Sat, Dec 2, 2017   12:02 AM

Last modified:   Sat, Dec 2, 2017   12:08 AM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — According to NCAA regulations, Esa Ahmad’s return to the WVU men’s basketball team must first include a reinstatement from the NCAA.

That requires WVU to submit proper paper work to the NCAA before the governing body reviews the case and makes its final decision.

It also requires some sort of timeline, one that remains somewhat unclear, according to WVU head coach Bob Huggins.

The school announced at the start of the season Ahmad would miss the first half of the season after not “fulfilling NCAA requirements.” Huggins later said he thought the suspension would be 16 games.

WVU officials are operating under the assumption the junior forward will become eligible in mid-January, but are not putting out a specific number of games.

The NCAA has not returned messages seeking comment on questions for a more defined timeline. The 19th-ranked Mountaineers (7-1) play four Big 12 games from Jan. 9-20, and it’s Huggins’ hope that Ahmad will be able to return during that time.

“No,” Huggins said when asked if he’s heard a definite timeline from the NCAA. “When he comes back, he’s back. I think our biggest concern will be his conditioning. I think he’ll struggle a couple of games with conditioning and then be fine.”

Ahmad, who averaged 11.3 points a game last season and has started 66 times during his career, is permitted to practice and work out with the team and travel for road games.

Huggins said he wasn’t worried about not getting a more definitive answer from the NCAA.

“What are you going to do?” Huggins asked. “See, stuff like that used to really piss me off. I have learned over the years to control the things you can control. The things you don’t have any control over, why waste your time when you can’t control it anyway?”

ROUGHED-UP WEST

Lamont West scored 13 points in the Nov. 30 102-69 win against New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and got five stitches in his chin and a new jersey for his efforts.

“I was going for a rebound and someone pushed me in my back and I hit somebody,” West said.

“I felt it, but I didn’t think it was going to need stitches.”

His chin was numbed at halftime and stitched up. He missed Huggins’ halftime, ahem, talk.

“I missed all of it,” West said. “I didn’t hear one yell.”

He had to exchange his bloody No. 15 for a No. 22 jersey for the second half.

“I hate No. 22,” West said. “That’s not my number. My number is 15. They gave me
22. I like my number. It means a lot.”

West will have his No. 15 back when the Mountaineers host No. 18 Virginia, on Tuesday.

JUST BREATHE

On top of leading WVU in points (19.0 ppg), steals (36) and assists (5.5 apg), Jevon Carter is also on the floor longer than any of his teammates.

Carter averages 32.8 minutes played per game.

He has a secret to stay as fresh as possible during games and it has to do with how he controls his breathing during the action on the court and during timeouts.

Carter had help in learning a different way to breathe.

“I take yoga classes, which helps me to focus on breathing,” Carter said.

“Once you learn to breathe the correct way, it helps you a lot.”