West Virginia basketball dismisses two starters

Ruben Hill
February 12, 2019

Coming into Morgantown next season is five-star center Oscar Tshiebwe, the highest-ranked recruit to ever join West Virginia, and the promising trio of of Derek Culver, Lamont West and James Bolden should be a year older and more equipped to win at the level fans are accustomed to seeing under legendary coach Huggins. They average 28 and 25 minutes per game, respectively.

The e-mail announcement that came from West Virginia's Sports Information Office was just one sentence, but it contained a significant message - "West Virginia University men's basketball senior Esa Ahmad and junior Wesley Harris have been dismissed from the team for a violation of athletic department policies".

Ahmad averaged 12 points and 5.8 rebounds for West Virginia in 2018-19 while Harris tallied 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest. The 6-foot-8 forward was benched for two games - November 24 against Valparaiso and January 12 against Oklahoma State - but was regarded as the team's top perimeter defender. It appears nearly certain that Harris will not be spending his final college year at WVU.

Harris also received a public reprimand from the Big 12 last season, after taking a swing at a Texas Tech student who rushed the court in Lubbock.

West Virginia will face No. 14 Kansas on Saturday. That group of nine - which combines to average 26 points per game - includes five freshmen.

Ahmad and Harris have both been starters for West Virginia's team this season. He was regarded as the team's top perimeter defender.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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