Mitchell Suspended

Just as WVU's men's basketball team prepared to kick off its preseason practice schedule, head coach Bob Huggins announced in a press release from the school's sports information office that senior guard Casey Mitchell has been suspended indefinitely.

The release, which came just about an hour before the start of WVU's Mountaineer Madness event, included no comments from Huggins or Mitchell. It said the former national junior college player of the year was suspended for "a violation of team rules."

Mitchell, a native of Savannah, Ga., averaged 3.7 points per game for West Virginia last season. He started the first five games of the season before being relegated to a reserve role, as he struggled to pick up the intricacies of Huggins' motion offense.

When point guard Truck Bryant was injured in the days before the Mountaineers' Sweet 16 match-up with Washington, it was Mitchell who earned a surprise start, playing 13 minutes and scoring six points in his team's 69-56 victory.

In a preseason media briefing held Thursday, Huggins said Mitchell and fellow guard Dalton Pepper had started to make strides this offseason.

"You get guys like Casey that have always been a receiver, you know what I mean? He's always been a catcher," Huggins said Thursday. "He's never pitched. Kind of the way we play, it's important that you learn to ... it's kind of important in our scheme of things that you're not just a receiver.

"Everybody thinks I didn't play Casey because of defense, but the truth is, he screwed the offense up. It was hard for guys to make reads when you've got a guy running all over the place and chasing the ball.

"I think he's better. I think he's learned. I'll tell you what I think he and Pep learned -- I think he and Pep learned there's more to this game than grabbing it and shooting it. It's a five-man game."

BlueGoldNews Top Stories