The Times West Virginian

Sports

April 17, 2014

Huggins signs junior college guard

MORGANTOWN — Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.

Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

“This class gives us a much-needed shot of athleticism on the perimeter, and a group of guards with tremendous versatility and the ability to play with or without the ball,” Huggins said in the announcement. “This depth should provide us the ability to turn up the pressure defensively.”

WVU needed help at guard after Eron Harris, who averaged 17.1 points a game last season, announced he was transferring following the season. Harris said he wanted to play closer to his home in Indiana but has not yet received very much interest from schools in that area.

Phillip is more of an all-around guard than was Harris, who had defensive deficiencies which at times offset his offensive contributions.

“We are excited to be able to land a guard as talented as Tarik in the late signing period,” Huggins said. “Every coach we talked to labeled Tarik as a winner. He gives us much-needed versatility in the backcourt with the ability to play both guard positions. We look for him to be very instrumental in our quest to become a great defensive team again.”

This past season at Independence Community College, he averaged 18.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for coach Tony Turner. In addition, Phillip shot 55 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3-point range. He was the Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year in the Eastern Division and was the league’s Freshman of the Year. Phillip was also an all-region selection while helping Independence to the division title.

Phillip is from Brooklyn, N.Y., but missed his senior year of high school there.

The 6-3, 180-pound Phillip attended Queen City Prep in Charlotte, N.C., averaging 26 points and seven assists per game for coach Tony Taylor. He previously attended Brooklyn College Academy. Phillip led Brooklyn College Academy to the PSAL “B” city crown as a sophomore. He played AAU basketball with the Long Island Lightning and Exodus.     

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