Junior Guard Has WVU Interest

A savvy Virginia guard was forced to cancel his unofficial visit to West Virginia in September due to the forecast of bad weather, but he still plans on making a trip later this fall to check out the Mountaineer program.

"I haven't set a date yet, but I do plan on coming back over before the start of our season," said Eric Hayes, who had to alter his plans due to the remnants of Hurricane Ivan. He had set up a visit to coincide with West Virginia's home football game with Maryland, but will now take that visit sometime later this year.

Hayes is a versatile guard who plays point for his Potomac (Va.) high school team, but he also has the shooting skills necessary to be a two guard if required. That talent makes him a good fit for John Beilein's offense, and explains why the Mountaineers have already offered the savvy 6-3 junior a scholarship.

Hayes' father, Kendall, is also his high school coach, which goes a long way toward explaining the outstanding feel for the game that the young junior possesses.

"It's a definite advantage having a father who is a coach," said Eric, who is a person of few words. "He's helped me learn a lot about the game."

That he has, because Hayes has already received a number of offers from schools such as Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Miami (FL), Ohio State and Richmond. He expects to get more offers as his junior season progresses, but other schools might not want to wait too long, as the precocious youngster has his eye set on committing early.

"I think I'd like to commit after my junior season, but before AAU starts," Hayes said. "Right now, I'm still gathering information on different schools, but I'd like to make more visits this fall and make my decision after this season."

West Virginia began showing interest in Hayes after his team made an appearance at WVU's team camp, as the coaching staff quickly noticed Hayes' natural flair for the game.

"I think the coaches like the way I understand the game, and the way I shot the ball," said Hayes, who thrives in an uptempo offense at Potomac. "Those are my strengths, along with passing the ball and my overall court sense. I do want to work on my strength and my ball handling."

Hayes recently took a visit to Wake Forest, and expressed a preference for playing in the ACC. However, the lure of the reconfigured Big East, which will be the best basketball league in the country, might be enough to sway his interest in that direction. Hayes, who figures to have no problems qualifying, will play for the Boo Williams AAU team this summer.

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