MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Tre Mitchell let Mountaineer Nation know Wednesday that he’s ready to “run it back” with West Virginia. His decision to cash in his extra year of collegiate eligibility ensures that one of WVU’s four leading scorers from this past season will be on the floor with the Mountaineers next season.
Erik Stevenson, Kedrian Johnson, and Emmitt Matthews Jr.’s time in the college ranks came to an end with WVU’s first-round exit from the NCAA Tournament last month.
Mitchell is the second Mountaineer with the COVID-year of eligibility remaining who has decided to stick with West Virginia. Veteran point guard Joe Toussaint came to the same decision last week. Big man Jimmy Bell Jr. is the lone veteran who still has a choice to make about his eligibility — or, perhaps, a decision about his future in the sport in general.
With that said, Bob Huggins’ roster for the 2023-24 season is largely set. Here is a look at who will be suiting up for the Mountaineers this winter, as of the middle of April.
Among players who are returning for next season, no one scored points more for West Virginia than Mitchell. The rising fifth-year senior out of Pittsburgh averaged 11.7 points per game in his first year with the Mountaineers. He scored in double-figures 21 times, including in six of the final seven games of the season.
Joe Toussaint (9.4 ppg) is the only other returning player who averaged more than five points per contest last season. Toussaint figures to split time with transfer guard Kerr Kriisa at the point of WVU’s backcourt. More on Kriissa below.
Fellow returning players
Seth Wilson, Mohamed Wague, James Okonkwo, and Patrick Suemnick all played big minutes for Huggins and company at some point last season. Wague missed the final six games of the year due to injury. Wilson and fellow guard Kobe Johnson will be the returning guards with the most knowledge of Huggins’ system and the program.
Wague and Okonkwo figure to take on larger roles next season.
Aside from Mitchell and Toussaint, Johnson is the only assured returning player who started a game for WVU last season.
Josiah Harris also returns to the fold for the Mountaineers.
One of the newcomers isn’t so new. That’s Jose Perez, who spent most of this past season with the Mountaineers, though he was unable to play. Perez came to WVU from Manhattan in October.
One of Perez’s former teammates is also headed to Morgantown. Omar Silverio will spend his final year of collegiate eligibility with the Mountaineers. He announced his decision to transfer to WVU in early March, and with that decision, he rejoins his “childhood brother” in Perez.
Kriisa is the other confirmed newcomer to the Coliseum. Kriisa was listed as the top-rated guard in the transfer portal after a successful career with Arizona. The guard led the Pac-12 in assists last season, and helped the Wildcats win the conference’s tournament title. The 22-year-old has played on the national stage, playing for Estonia on the national U-16 team in 2016 and 2017, and the national U-18 team at the 2019 FIBA Europe Under-18 Division B Championship.
Positional breakdown of West Virginia’s 2023-24 men’s basketball roster