New Attraction

Darryl Bryant wasn't considering West Virginia as a college destination until new head coach Bob Huggins came on board, but once he became a target of the new Mountaineer staff, it didn't take long for him to get a dose of the family atmosphere that Huggins and his staff are creating.

"When I visited West Virginia, I just knew it was the place for me," Bryant told after committing to the Mountaineers. "The coaches made it feel like home. I rally liked the campus a lot, and Coach Harrison and the rest of the coaches made me feel like family. Coach Harrison is really like family to me now. He was really cool through the whole [recruiting process]."

Bryant, who had been leaning toward West Virginia since he became a recruiting target of assistant coach Larry Harrison, didn't need any more time to consider his decision once he say the WVU campus. He simply wanted to see his future home before making his decision, and once he completed his tour of the campus he knew West Virginia was going to be his college destination.

"I did want to get away from home a little bit, but I still wanted to be close enough to where my family could see me play. I have teammates from my AAU team that are going to Seton Hall and Connecticut, and Rutgers and St. John's are close [to my home] too, so there will be lots of chances for them to see me play.

Bryant, who plays point guard for the celebrated New York Gauchos AAU team, helped guide them to three prestigious summer tournament wins this year. That has been the norm for Bryant, who has been blessed throughout his career with a number of talented teammates. His high school, St. Raymond's is likewise well-stocked with talent, so Bryant is used to having great skill around him.

"Playing on a good team has taught me a lot," he said. "You have to be ready to take control, but you have to share the rock and just play together. I am pretty used to playing under the spotlight, and that has helped me improve my game as well."

While he believes he can play either guard position, he admits a fondness for the point, which is his likely destination at WVU.

"I like having the ball in my hands and making decisions," he said. "I like taking the last shot, but I like making a pass in the clutch for the game winner, too. Whichever one leads to the win, that's the one that I want to make."

Bryant, who displays an air of confidence on and off the court, liked what he saw on his first visit to the West Virginia campus.

"We took a tour around the whole school, met the athletic director and the academic director," he said. "I was a little surprised at how nice the campus was. And I can't wait to play in the Coliseum!"

Bryant, who has met his goal of making his decision before his senior season began, is now free to concentrate on his last scholastic season. St. Raymond's is well-positioned to make a run at a title, and Bryant is focusing on that and not letting his college career take away from the here and now. He is scheduled, however, to take his official visit to West Virginia in September before signing during the early period.

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