West Virginia caught a huge break over the weekend as point guard Joe Mazzulla was reinstated to the team.
Mazzulla was suspended indefinitely after an altercation at a bar in April that ended up with him getting arrested for the second time in nine months (he was also arrested for scuffling with some cops at a Pittsburgh Pirates game).
Mazzulla missed most of last season with a shoulder injury, but he has been granted a medical waiver and will still have two season's of eligibility.
Bob Huggins has a ton of talent on his roster this season, especially along their loaded front line which includes two potential first team all Big East forwards in Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks.
But the Mountaineers did not have a single point guard available on their roster. Not only was Mazzulla suspended, but last year's replacement Truck Bryant is also currently suspended indefinitely. He was charged in a hit-and-run back in July.
As is standard with a Bob Huggins team, West Virginia could defend and rebound with anyone in the country last season. But even with Bryant on the floor, they struggled at times to get points. With last year's leading scorer Alex Ruoff graduating, having a point guard to run the offense and create scoring chances is that much more important this season.
All told, WVU looks like they will be one of the teams competing with Villanova for the Big East crown this season. Their projected line-up:
- G - Joe Mazzulla
- G/F - Da'Sean Butler
- F - Devin Ebanks
- F - John Flowers/Kevin Jones
- F - Wellington Smith
- Bench - Truck Bryant, Cam Thoroughman, Dalton Pepper