West Virginia guards on call for men’s hoops Gold-Blue Debut

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s team unveiling Friday will also provide an early look at what the Mountaineers are working with at the guard positions.

The annual men’s basketball Gold-Blue Debut is set for 7 p.m. Friday, at the WVU Coliseum.

Admission is free and an autograph session with players is scheduled on the floor following the event.

More than anything else, a scheduled 40-minute officiated scrimmage could provide a glimpse at how the Mountaineers will replace standouts Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. at point guard and shooting guard.

It’s the biggest question facing the Mountaineers, who went 26-11 last season and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

“Our guards are going to be pretty good,” WVU forward Lamont West said. “We have some shooters and guys who can handle the ball. They can do a little bit of everything.”

The Mountaineers certainly didn’t neglect the positions in recruiting.

Of the six first-year players on this season’s roster, three are guards with freshmen Jordan McCabe and Trey Doomes and 6-foot-7 junior-college recruit Jermaine Haley.

WVU’s guards also include returners “Beetle” Bolden and Chase Harler — both juniors — and freshman Brandon Knapper, who was redshirted last season after a knee injury.

Bolden and Harler you know. The rest will be playing on the Coliseum floor for the first time.

“Jordan McCabe is very good and he’s a pass-first guard,” Knapper said while giving a scouting report. “He’s always looking for the open man. He can score the ball, too.

“Trey Doomes is very athletic and very scary when he goes to the rim. He will dunk on you when he finishes at the rim. He’s got some good upside.

“Jermaine Haley is 6-7 with a lot of length. He can defend well, too.”

Bolden shot 41.1 percent from 3-point range last season and averaged 8.7 points per game, but West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has been hesitant in the past to play him a lot of minutes.

Bolden has played more than 25 minutes in a game just five times in the 64 games he’s played.

Harler will be counted on for shooting and leadership, but has been dealing with back issues this preseason.

That leaves the door open for several possibilities.

In the preseason, it appears McCabe — last year’s Mr. Basketball in the state of Wisconsin — has helped make the most of the chance to play early through becoming a student of studying film.

“Jordan knows everything,” Huggins said. “Jordan knows as much or more than our veteran guys, because he takes film home and studies it. He comes in with James [Long] and watches film.”

Huggins also likes his team’s ability to shoot the ball … for now.

“We’re shooting it OK for now,” he said. “It remains to be seen how they shoot it when they put people in the stands.”

After the Gold-Blue Debut, WVU’s preseason will continue with a public scrimmage against Penn State, at 4 p.m. on Nov. 3, at the WVU Coliseum.

The Mountaineers also have a closed-door scrimmage scheduled against Purdue later this month.

Follow Justin Jackson on Twitter @bigjax3211

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