By Keenan Cummings
WVU wanted to add experience and length to its backcourt.
Well, mission accomplished in the signing of Odessa College (Texas) guard Jermaine Haley. The former Rivals.com four-star prospect stands 6-foot-7 and is being targeted primarily for a backcourt option.
Haley, a native of Vancouver, initially signed with New Mexico State out of high school and started 15 games during his freshman season before electing to leave the program. He initially thought that would land him at Wyoming, but instead he decided to enroll at Odessa where he spent this past year.
A productive one at that. Haley averaged 10.2 points and 5.6 assists per game while shooting over 50-percent from the floor drawing the interest of a number of colleges including WVU.
Haley took a visit to campus April 18-20 and announced his choice on his 21st birthday. In the junior college guard, the Mountaineers found a mismatch on both ends of the floor that has the ability to score as well as facilitate the basketball to his teammates.
He also represents the first guard set to be on the roster this fall that stands over 6-foot-4 giving some much needed length at the two.
So now with five total additions to the 2018 recruiting class, this surely puts a bow on the efforts for this year, right? Currently if nothing changes the program is one over the scholarship limit but don’t expect that to stop the pursuit of at least one top prospect remaining on the board.
Tacoma (Wa.) wing Emmitt Matthews remains uncommitted and has been on the WVU radar since he initially opened his recruitment and received his release from Connecticut. The Mountaineers were active recruiting him the first time around as well, but Matthews offered his pledge to the Huskies ahead of his scheduled official visit to Morgantown.
Also at 6-foot-7, Matthews has been targeted the second time as well with the coaches already paying him an in-home visit and assistant Erik Martin taking the lead in his pursuit. According to Matthews, the coaches have taken up right where they left off the first time and there is a strong comfort level.
The goal now will be to get him on campus for a visit and let things fall from there as more and more schools are getting involved with the West Coast wing.
As for the numbers? It’ll work out, it always does.