The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

May 15, 2014

Huggins lands guard Bolden

MORGANTOWN — Once upon a time nothing meant more to Bob Huggins than beating Xavier and it’s no different today as he landed a point guard from just outside his old Cincinnati stomping grounds for the 2015 season, beating out Xavier for his services.

The new guard’s name is James Bolden but he goes by the nickname of “Beetle” and he’s from Holmes High just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati in Covington, Kentucky.

Xavier reportedly offered him a scholarship as a sophomore and Butler was among his suitors.

Bolden averaged 20.8 points and 3.4 assists per game as earning all-state honors for the second time as a junior.

He plans to sign in the November early signing period and has told Chris Anderson of 247Sports “I’m willing to do anything for him, on and off the court.”

Such a strong commitment is welcome to the WVU program after it lost guards Eron Harris and Terry Henderson unexpectedly in the off-season.

“When I went on a visit, it just felt like I was at home,” Bolden told Anderson. “I could be myself around there. I loved the coaching staff. I loved the fan base. It seems like the fans were genuine no matter how they were doing. West Virginia seemed like the best fit for me.”

Huggins has created a strong relationship with Bolden.

“He’s been very close with me,” he said. “We talked every week and even if it wasn’t about basketball, he and coach (Erik) Martin were giving me advice on how to select my college choice, even if it wasn’t them. We became close and coach Huggins is a great person, and he is legendary.”

o o o o o o

West Virginia University’s combined varsity athletic teams have an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 975 for the 2012-13 academic year, according to data released Wednesday by the NCAA. All teams that surpassed the 930 level avoid any penalties.

The APR is based upon eligibility and retention of student-athletes on a semester-by-semester basis and is an assessment of real-time academic success. The results of the fall and spring semesters, in a given year, are calculated as that year’s APR score and averaged with the respective scores from the previous three years to provide a four-year (multi-year) snapshot of academic achievement.

Interestingly because of the recent furor over transfers, men’s basketball was among nine WVU teams recording a perfect 1,000 score, joining women’s basketball, cross country, rowing, gymnastics, women’s soccer, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and rifle.

Any student-athlete receiving athletic aid in a varsity sport can earn up to four points per year for being academically eligible and remaining enrolled in the institution. A team’s APR is the total points earned on the roster divided by that squad’s total.

Teams must achieve a 930 multi-year APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to avoid immediate penalties (involving the possible reduction of practice time and access to postseason competition). The current multi-year APR scores for WVU’s varsity teams (2009-10 to 2012-13): baseball 937; men’s basketball 974; women’s basketball 991; cross country 996; football 942; gymnastics 995; rifle 971; rowing 998; men’s soccer 984; women’s soccer 994; men’s swimming and diving 975; women’s swimming and diving 980; tennis 947; indoor track and field 994; outdoor track and field 994; volleyball 950; and wrestling 946.

All 17 teams exceeded the 930 four-year score, and no WVU team will receive APR academic penalties from the NCAA.

WVU football score of 942 ranked third from the bottom of the Big 12 but was a solid qualifying score.

Only two schools from the Big 5 conferences received football penalties, one with a direct effect on WVU, that being Oklahoma State’s football program, which was given a Level 1 penalty and will have to miss practice time.

The Cowboys narrowly missed the two-year mark of 930, finishing at 929.41. They remain eligible for post-season play.

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