Continued Improvement

WVU singee Devin Ebanks could have coasted through his year at St. Thomas More School, but head coach Jere Quinn believes that the highly regarded forward learned and improved a great deal during his recent prep year.

"I really believe he concentrated on becoming a complete player," Quinn said of Ebanks' time at the prestigious prep school. "He learned a lot about the team concept, and because that's something that we stress here, he lived it every day. I think he really bought into the idea of team play, and he really becampe part of the team here. He hung out with the team, was with them all the time, and really learned a lot about that."

Despite some concerns about Ebanks' star status, Quinn doesn't think he will have any problmes with issues of that sort at West Virginia -- mainly because he didn't see them at St. Thomas More.

"We discussed that a lot, and he doesn't worry about individual statistics," said Quinn, who has been at the school for 30 years. "I've been doing this for awhile, and we concentrate on getting players ready for all aspects of college. He's bought into that. He's worked hard, and he wants to be good. He's had a great support system from his mom and day to other family members, and he has taken advantage of that."

Ebanks, who has parlayed perimeter skills and a recent growth spurt into a package that is tough to defend on the floor, is also a tough compare, according to Quinn.

"We've helped develop a lot of kids here, but we haven't had many 6-8 or 6-9 kids that can score inside and out the way Devin can. He might be similar to a Schea Cotton, who was a highly ranked player with a lot of different skills."

Like most players entering college, Ebanks still has things to learn and improve upon, especially on the defensive end. That's not unexpected, however, and Quinn believes that the tools are there for Ebanks to mature into as much of a force defensively as he is offensively.

"With his length and agility he can be a great defender. He has the desire to do it -- he will just have to work at it, and that's one of the things that attracted him to Coach Huggins," Quinn explained. "[Huggins] is known for developing that and getting the most out of his players, and I think Devin knows that. Right now, he understands on-ball defense, but he still has things to learn about defending off the ball and guarding different styles of players. He guarded mostly big guys here, so he will have to work some at guarding threes and players like that.

"He wasn't loafing here defensively," Qinn continued. He knew that if he didn't defend here, he would sit down. He just needs more work at it, and at guarding different players."

Despite his star status (five from Scout.com and a #4 small forward ranking nationally), Ebanks is a level-headed player in the eyes of his coach.

"Around adults, he is polite and well-spoken. Around his friends and peers, he has a good time. He is outgoing, laughs with them, and is a typical teammate. He has a lot of street smarts too, and he knows how to act in different situations. He's well-liked by his teammates, and gets along with them very well."

Devin Ebanks Profile


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