Kyle’s Korner ….
Coach Bob Huggins and West Virginia got a commitment from another big man for the class of 2016 when it added 4-star recruit Maciej Bender from the Mountain Mission School in nearby Grundy, Va.
The 6-foot-11 forward with “European style skills,” is reported to be a very versatile forward with a number of offensive skills. He plays facing the basket, reports say he can score from the mid-range out to the 3-point line. Bender is also able to put the ball on the floor when defenders close in on him.
As a junior, Bender averaged 12.5 points and seven rebounds per game at Mountain Mission School.
Bender also had offers from a number of other schools including Georgia, Arizona State, Providence, Georgia Tech and Valparaiso. Bender recently narrowed his choices to West Virginia and Mississippi.
Mountain Mission assistant coach Justin Dempsey, a native of the Chapmanville area, is ardent about Bender’s potential.
“Maciej has a chance to be very special. He can do things that you do not see many 6’11 guys do. He can shoot the 3, post up, put it on the floor, pass it, and finish above the rim. He is very agile. He moves like a 6-foot guy,” said Dempsey.
“The most important part about Maciej is that he is not only a special player, but he is an even better young man. His parents did a fantastic job raising a humble and very respectful and caring young man,” Dempsey added.
“He is a 4-star on ESPN, but in all honesty he is underrated. Most people do not know just how good this kid is and how special he can be. Coach Everhart and Huggins picked up on it first and put in the effort to build the relationship and land him. After his visit to WVU, he decided to not take any other visits. I think the family style environment and the closeness of the players and coaches really made him feel comfortable,” Dempsey stressed. “He told me after the visit that he really loves “Country Roads Take me Home.” He seems to understand what it means to be a Mountaineer.”
WVU assistant coach Ron Everhart was West Virginia’s primary recruiter of Bender. Everhart got in early on the recruitment of Bender, which was a major factor in his decision to pick WVU.
WVU also had a recent commitment from Sagaba Konate, another big man with inside post skills. He plays at Kennedy Catholic High School in Pennsylvania.
Konate is a 6-foot-9 center with a good frame. He reportedly has solid athleticism, long arms, and the ability to rebound.
Konate, a 3-star recruit, picked West Virginia over Pitt, Purdue, Minnesota, George Washington and a host of others.
These two join Wheeling Central Catholic 6-foot-3 guard Chase Harler in the class of 2016. Harler will be senior this season. He led WCC to the state tournament the past couple of seasons.
… West Virginia University’s next two football games have been scheduled for times and television providers as of this week.
WVU’s home showdown against No. 21 Oklahoma State this Saturday will kick-off at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2. This weekend’s game against the Cowboys is set to cap off Homecoming weekend in Morgantown, as the annual ‘Stripe the Stadium’ event will once again take place at Milan Puskar Stadium.
The No. 3 Baylor Bears will come calling the following week, as the Mountaineers will visit McLane Stadium for the first time in Waco. Game time is set for 12 p.m. ET next Saturday, October 17 and will be televised on FOX.
WVU defeated the Bears in Morgantown last year, single-handedly knocking Baylor out of the College Football Playoff.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern)