The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

April 14, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: Moving on without Ebanks

MORGANTOWN — Right or wrong, and only time will be able to tell whether or not Devin Ebanks made the correct decision to leave West Virginia University for the National Basketball Association with a healthy helping of college basketball still on his plate, and even that will be cloudy in that we don’t know what fate would have had in store for him here.

What we do know is that the Final Four team that gave West Virginia such an injection of pride and happiness at a time, as it would come to happen, when it needed it most, considering the tragic mine explosion in Raleigh County, must redefine itself next season.

Such is this game of Russian roulette that is high-powered college basketball, which is nothing more than the college stars declaring their own form of professional free agency, just as they do in the big leagues.

You live in the moment, for tomorrow is as fragile a thing as the whims of a 19-year-old kid who can’t see past the bling and the bright lights of Broadway.

But that is not to be judgmental, for surely most of us with the opportunity would make similar decisions.

It is why we were given the ability to turn our palm up.

That, however, doesn’t lessen the job coach Bob Huggins has ahead of him, for the next edition of the West Virginia Mountaineers figures to be far different than the one you came to love so dearly over the past six months.

Let us begin with how difficult it will be for Huggins to run that 1-3-1 zone that he adopted to fit the talents of this year’s team. Indeed, Ebanks was perfect on the point, long and lean and athletic. That he averaged 8 rebounds a game playing out there so often on defense tells you something about his skills.

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