Staff, Style Keys For West

In most recruiting stories, it's rapport with the coaching staff or players or the program's profile that loom large in the final decision-making process for a student-athlete. While those factors were present in Lamont West's decision to attend West Virginia, another reason stood out.

"I really loved the academic support people in the office," West said of the staff he met while on a mid-week visit to WVU. "They were really nice, and it was clear that they were really interested in helping the players learn and being the best students they can be. I just had a really good feeling when I met them."

West also cited the facilities, especially the weight room and locker room, as standout factors on his visit, which concluded with a strong feeling that he would be a Mountaineer. After a bit of consideration, he made that choice and communicated it to the coaching staff.

West played his senior season at Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, Ga., after moving to the area with the intention of playing at Georgia Academy. Noting "that wasn't a good fit for me", the Cincinnati, Oh., native earned class 5A all-state honorable mention honors at Miller Grove while averaging 18 points and nine rebounds per game in a variety of roles.

"I can play everywhere," West said matter-of-factly. "I think that's my biggest strength. I can adapt to whoever I am playing against. If I'm against a bigger guy I can go outside and attack off the dribble, and against a smaller guy I can post-up."

West doesn't ignore defense in his assessment either, noting that he uses the same sort of approach, playing to his strengths of mobility and good jumping ability to defend whoever he matches up with on the court. He prefers the up-and-down style of play West Virginia committed to last year, and sees himself with the ability to play multiple positions if need be.

West Virginia knew of and was in contact with West during his career at Withrow High School in Cincinnati, but the move to Georgia interrupted that interest.

"They said they lost track of me, but we got back together here and it worked out," said West, who saw interest in him rise as several schools worked to fill late gaps in their recruiting classes. "I'm very competitive, and I think I can fit in well there."

West is set to sign his letter of intent this weekend, and plans to follow that document to WVU soon.

"I think it's around June 8 that I will go up," he said of his travel and enrollment plans. "I graduate this Saturday, and all my qualification stuff is good to go."

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