The Dominion Post  

‘Beetle’ Bolden a take-charge fit for WVU

Created on:   Thu, Jan 11, 2018   11:19 PM

Last modified:   Thu, Jan 11, 2018   11:19 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — James “Beetle” Bolden is literally a take-charge kind of guy.

Just ask Baylor men’s basketball guard King McClure, who had a wide open drive to the basket against the Mountaineers last week thwarted by Bolden’s ability to draw an offensive foul.

McClure is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds and was going full speed. Bolden is listed at 6-foot, 170, and had no choice but to try to draw the charge.

“I feel like I’m getting pretty good” at drawing fouls, he said after No. 2 WVU knocked off Baylor, 57-54.

It is a role that requires toughness, guts and maybe some insanity, too.

After all, most sane people get out of the way when they see bigger people running right at them.

“My defense is something I really take pride in,” Bolden continued. “You get used to the contact after a while.”

Maybe no one on the Mountaineers is better at getting in the right position and drawing contact than Bolden.

“He does it all the time in practice,” WVU guard Daxter Miles Jr. said. “Beetle gets great positioning and then he shows some toughness.”

At the end of each season, WVU head coach Bob Huggins hands out an award to the WVU player who draws the most offensive fouls.

Bolden, so far, has a wide lead.

“I tell guys all the time that they are in control of their playing time,” Huggins said. “If they’re going to help us, we’re going to play them. If you don’t bring anything to the table, why play you?

“If you’re a part of a team, other people depend on you. I tell them to contribute.”

Bolden is doing just that this season, and in a variety of ways.

He is also WVU’s top 3-point shooter, with 36 3s and a 41 shooting percentage from behind the arc.

Bolden is scoring a career-high 10.4 points per game heading into Saturday’s 2 p.m. match, at No. 8 Texas Tech.

“I just feel like everyone has their own roles on the team,” Bolden said. “I think everyone here is doing a good job of fitting in and sticking to what they do best. That’s kind of been our thing all season.”


In the 68 games Esa Ahmad has played for the Mountaineers (15-1, 4-0 Big 12), he was a non-starter only twice.

The 6-8 forward will make his season debut against the Red Raiders, after missing the first 16 games due to an NCAA suspension for not meeting eligibility requirements.

Huggins said he has spent weeks thinking about how and where to use Ahmad early on.

Huggins was asked if Ahmad would start against Texas Tech.

“You’ll just have to wait and see,” he said.


WVU guard Jevon Carter made the first cut for this season’s Wooden Award, which goes annually to the top college basketball player in the country. The list was trimmed from 50 preseason candidates to 25 midseason hopefuls.

Carter, the Mountaineers’ senior point guard, averages career highs in points (16.1) and assists (6.8), and leads the country with 58 steals.

A list of 15 finalists will be given to voters prior to the NCAA tournament, and the winner will be announced at the ESPN College Basketball Awards, on April 6.