The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 25, 2014

WVU’s Harris transferring closer to home

MORGANTOWN — Just when you thought things could not get any worse for the West Virginia basketball program, it was dealt another severe blow as sophomore shooting guard Eron Harris, who teamed with Juwan Staten to give West Virginia one of the most dynamic backcourts in the nation, asked for and was granted his release and plans to transfer to a school closer to his home in Indiana.

Harris, despite a scoring slump down the stretch, averaged 17.2 points a game to finish second on the team to Staten in scoring. The 6-foot-3 guard from Indiana played in all 33 games and seemed to be one of the key components around whom coach Bob Huggins would build for the next two seasons.

It’s still unknown whether Staten will return next season. He plans to look into his chances of being drafted in the first round of the NBA draft this year.

“I have enjoyed my time at West Virginia University the past two years, but I want to transfer closer to home,” Harris said in a release put out by the school. “I want to be closer to my family, especially being around my little brother.”

“We have enjoyed Eron and his contributions to Mountaineer basketball,” Huggins said. “Of all people, I certainly know what it is like to be closer to family and friends, that’s why I did it as a student-athlete then as a coach.”

Huggins twice came home to WVU, leaving Ohio U. as a player and then coming home from Kansas State to replace John Beilein.

This comes in the shadow of a second consecutive disappointing season for the Mountaineers, one in which they finish 17-16 and failed to make it to the NCAA’s for the second straight season. WVU has not advanced past the first round of the NCAAs since its Final Four run in 2010.

The Mountaineers expected to be a national force when they brought Huggins home to coach but have been just 49-49 over the past three seasons and have had tremendous personnel turnover year after year, Harris just being the latest.

Over the past three years Jabarie Hinds, Aaron Brown, Aric Dickerson, Aaric Murray, Volodymyr Gerun, Keaton Miles, Pat Forsythe, Tommie McCune, Danny Jennings, Dalton Pepper and now Harris have played and left the program either on their own or via invitations from Huggins to leave.

With Harris gone, Huggins will most like make Terry Henderson the shooting guard with Staten at the point. If Staten leaves the point would go to Gary Browne.

WVU would then play Devin Williams up front with Jonathan Holton and Elijah Macon, both of whom sat out due to academics this season, while the bench would still have Remi Dibo, Nathan Adrian, Brandon Watkins, Kevin Noreen, Chase Connor and incoming freshmen Jevon Carter or Daxter Miles.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel

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