The West Virginia Mountaineers have made a living in the state of Ohio on the recruiting trail since hiring Bob Huggins. On Tuesday that continued with the pledge of four-star center Derek Culver according to his high school coach Andy Vlajkovich.
In the end West Virginia was able to snag the commitment over significant interest from Florida, Arizona, Xavier, Illinois, and Iowa.
According to Vlajkovich, a big key was how Huggins made Culver a priority from the very beginning.
"It wasn’t just West Virginia being consistent," said Vlajkovich. "It was how early they started recruiting him. It was clear from the beginning that Derek was a priority. It was a really steady recruitment, and he was a priority for Huggs and West Virginia and it never wavered. West Virginia was the first high-major to offer and Huggins was the most visible and consistent head coach to recruit him.”
Culver, who has a tremendous combination of size and athleticism, has a high upside and is someone who can score on the post or face the rim. Also he is a good passer who has a solid feel for the game. In fact Vlajkovich feels like West Virginia's pressing style is going to be a perfect fit for Culver.
"I think that style is going to be great for Derek," said Vlajkovich. "It is going to force him to play with the motor that I know he has. It is no secret Derek’s motor can be up and down, but when the motor is at full speed he has unbelievable feet and athleticism to play 94 feet. In college I think his ability to protect the rim and read passing lanes. Also he can move like a guard, it will be perfect for him.”
This is the first commitment for the Mountaineers in the 2017. Look for Culver to be able to come in right away and play in Huggins’ pressing style where his length and athleticism should have an immediate impact.