MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — While remaining somewhat cryptic about the status of star recruit Elijah Macon, West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins acknowledged the four-star power forward won’t likely play this year.

Courtesy photo

Along with academic hurdles, WVU enrollee Elijah Macon has wrist and toe injuries.

Macon enrolled at WVU in August but could be classified as a partial qualifier, making him ineligible to play during the 2013-14 season and ineligible to practice until second semester. (Similar circumstances led Ben McLemore to sit out a year at Kansas before becoming a Wooden Award finalist last season.)

After originally signing with the Mountaineers in 2012, Macon failed to qualify and spent an additional year at prep school.

“Honestly, I don’t know how much I’m allowed to get into,” Huggins said during his first preseason media session.

Along with academic hurdles, Macon is coping with physical maladies. Already recovering from summertime wrist surgery, the 6-foot-9 recruit now has a toe injury.

“He’s not even able to run now,” Huggins said. Asked if it was safe to assume Macon won’t play this upcoming season, the coach said, “Yeah, I would think it would be way more that way than the other way.”

West Virginia also is awaiting final approval on junior-college recruit Jonathan Holton, who has been cleared to practice but not to play.

“I think that we’ll have a final answer at the end of the week,” Huggins said. “That’s a guess.”

Holton landed at Palm Beach State (Fla.) Community College last season after being dismissed from Rhode Island following charges he secretly videotaped sexual encounters with two female students. In May, Holton pleaded no contest to one count of video voyeurism and was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to undergo mental health counseling.

WVU’s four other newcomers—Remi Dibo, Devin Williams, Nathan Adrian and Brandon Watkins—have been cleared to compete, said Huggins, whose program is aiming to rebound from last season’s 13-19 finish.

After enduring his first losing season since 1985 at Akron, Huggins remade his roster by replacing five transfers with the nation’s No. 23-ranked recruiting class.

“I’ve never not been able to get guys to plays as hard as I wanted them to play,” he said with regard to last season’s dropoff. “Obviously we had some deficiencies.”

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  • richard

    i've said it before and i'll say it again, holton won't play for the gold and blue. i hope i'm wrong for holton, i hope he makes it and i hope he turns his life around. he made some mistakes. let's hope for his sake he does change. looking forward to seeing remi dibo. i think he is going to be a good one. devin williams is a beast who can play some good basketball for his size. the other 2 will grow into good players. i'd be happy with 19 or 20 wins this season, but 17 or 18 may be more like it.

  • Big Larry

    WVU will always be sub par in my eyes. You don't like my comments, then go away. WVU will never be good enough. I don't care if we win it all in both sports. WVU will never satisfy me.

    • Hailey

      Stick with your right hand, oh satisfied

    • Joe

      "WVU will never satisfy me". Uh....are you still talking about basketball.

      BTW, I never encountered the ravaging effects of schitophrenia, multiple personality disorder and delusional self-reenforcing paranoia until Big Larry, Big Tom and William showed up one for all on these boards.

      Love your work guys er, uh, guy.

    • Frank

      A true fan of WVU has to endure heartache, that is for sure. However, their love for the university should not waiver in commitment and should not weaken under scrutiny.

  • pghmountaineer

    Big Tom. It should be obviuos to you why we can't recruit better players. Coach Huggins is doing the best he can and his style of coaching doesn't work anymore with today's athletes. All you have to do is look at how Bobby Knight went out. During his last 10 years of coaching he was average at best. Today's kids do not respond to negative public comments and open ridicule. At least not the ones that the top ranked schools get every year. I think the field of above average athletes begin to narrow greatly when you add all that into the mix.

    • ron "from morgantown"

      That's a worn out argument that a coach can't relate to the "modern athlete " or that the players don't respond to public discourse. I would never bet against the kid who played bb on a dirt surface along Dents Run and walked the long hill of 8th street . Nobody wants to win more than him , and that's all we can ask of a Hall of Fame guy named Huggins . Come on Bobby , prove em wrong again !

  • Rock Solid

    Why would any top tier recruits want to play for a coach that will yank you off the court if you make any human mistake while on the court? Why play for a guy who spends 90% of his time arguing with officials, and hardly ever gives his players any positive feedback? Huggins doesn't teach he just rants and turns purple as his temper raises his blood pressure to dangerous heights. Why come here unless you are damaged goods and don't have many options? There are just too many schools where the environment is positive, the coach is a positive influence and a teacher instead of an agry, verbally abusive has been. See John B. listed under "class" in the dictionary.

    • Frank

      Bob is a proven winner - and has done most of his winning with less than 4-star talent. So what that he has to overturn a few tables to find players these days... It is more thanks to the carrot dangling and NBA doorways at other schools - and the lack of respect some of these 4-star players have for authority. His methods are dated, but his understanding of life is not - he cares about these kids probably more than your parents cared about you.

  • big tom

    please,, no one is seriously answering my question: why we can't recruit a class without academic problems or legal issues"
    we have some of the best facilities in the nation, we have a very good arena imo, and we have a hall of fame coach.
    Now is there possibly a problem with huggie's reputation of falling asleep at a stop light , or falling down on tarmacs or vegas hotels?
    Please my fellow eer fans ... why can't we recruit instant qualifiers each yr ... and not go thru messes like this yr and last.

    • BBallCessPool

      Thuggins couldn't recruit a student athlete with a 3.5 GPA if his life depended upon it. This is why the president of the Univ. of Cin. ran him off. It wasn't the AD that fired him, it was the school president. His prize recruit in his one year at K-State is now an NBA flunkie. A severe head case. No NBA team will sign him.
      Thuggins recruits the inner city thugs. Borderline students with problems with the law. That is his M.O. It isn't going to change until WVU gets a new AD and/or president.

  • Matt

    Haters gonna hate! Fickle fans in WV. Pretty lame!

  • Big Larry


    I thought I told you and the other Holgorsen trolls to quit reading my comments...

    Now here you are with the Huggins trolls & relatives reading them again....

    Gluttons for punishment....

    • WV07

      You're an idiot.

    • Hailey

      Hey Larry, go William yourself

  • GoEers

    Hey what a surprise...Big Larry and William spewing their jealousy towards WVU and predicting a losing season. Typical jealous Marshall trolls

    • Mister Man

      True that.

  • ron "from morgantown"

    Macon , even if academically solid , wouldn't have played this year because of a wrist injury . As for Holton , one only knows what we are going to get with him , probably another Gordon Malone ( WVU , semi pro , also China , Greece , Argentina , and oh ya , Harlem Globe trotters) 6 foot 11 , great skills but a social misfit. Of course Malone was never charged with 3 felonies so maybe its an unfair comparison .

  • JasonMccallister

    I think Luck should check out this message board what a plethora of hidden coaches. My money is on William. We'll William Beilein did not want to b here Huggs is proud to b from here and is a very capable coach

  • William

    PAR FOR THE COURSE - Some things never change, Would it be like this if John Beilein was the coach at WVU - I DON'T THINK SO.
    Look at the team that John Beilein put on the court (good guys w/ GREAT CHARACTER)
    that you want to go watch play.
    Some of players 'SWEATSUIT' Huggins gets, I don't even care to watch them play!

    • Hailey

      High little man, couldn't resist? Sounds like you would like yo spend some alone time with Johnny B....very very strange

    • John

      John Beilein didn't want to coach hear for any reason other than a stepping stone. He did not want to stay and he certainly doesn't want to return. He also took the University to court trying to nullify part of his contract when he left. Now, knowing all those facts, please tell me what he has to do with this program going forward. It's not like we had our choice of one or the other. People should appreciate the fact that WVU has a hall of fame coach that chooses this as his number one destination. We couldn't replace Huggs without taking a shot on an unknown coach... And most likely if that unknown coach panned out he would move with his first chance. Appreciate what we have!

      • Frank

        You used hear instead of here.

    • Ron

      We won't miss you!

    • Charleston,WV

      So does that mean you won't be regularly commenting as the season progresses? Whoooh ! (sigh of relief).

  • Big Larry

    Oh my gosh...Here we go again...Macon wont play and now we are waiting on Holton?

    When will the madness ever end?

    My hopes for this upcoming season were upon Macon playing for the Mountaineers...

    Sounds like another "BUST" for Bob "Sweatsuit "Huggins.

    I have seen Macon play and he is the real deal..

    Are these incoming freshman without Macon going to come in and save the day? No. Of course not. It takes 4 years for a player to reach his full potential under Huggins...IE Kevin Jones....

    Without Macon, I see WVU winning 15-16 games at best....bottom feeders again in the Big 12.

    • Steve

      Get realistic, our recruiting is always going to get the "potential" stars. We have to build our players because we're not the elite. Even our NBA guys were not as good as we thought. You give nobody credit for anything. Why don't you ever look at where we have been and believe that a coach has to change his way of thinking. I'm glad you have the ability to be right about everything you predict. You have made yourself the laughing stock of football and basketball in WV. Give it up and NGO do your predicting on Marshall, I bet you would make a great Thundering Herd fan.

    • j

      When will you hang yourself? Gosh I hope soon!

  • big tom

    "I have never not" ... he graduated magna cum laude

    • Justin

      U get off to spreading your negative thoughts around don't u? Season hasn't even started and downing the team. How would u like it if everyone on here started dogging how bad your life is?

    • WV07

      You should spend some time and read what you write before you criticize anyone.Grammar and spelling mistakes litter your uneducated posts.

    • Charleston,WV

      I believe that's a double negative.

  • big tom

    strange that we can't recruit players that don't have a ton of baggage ... one can play because of academics, another, I guess all his felonies. with all our great bb facilities, we sure aren't climbing to the top of the recruitment ranks, in face, we aren't any better off when we didn't have the practice facility ... what's up huggs?
    two other things taken from this press, huggie was surprised by the traveling we would have to do ... hummm,, I could have told him it would be ruff... and he said he was surprised that the big 12 played a different type of bb ... hummm didn't he coach at kstate before wvu ... the closest team is over 900 miles away ... it was that distance last yr before the season started,,,so what was the mystery? Anyway ... people help me out on this recruiting deal, why is it such a problem for huggie to bring in qualifiers?

    • Steve

      Always has been ,always will be, location,location,location, We just don't have that top of the line look like the Dukies, Tar Heels, or some of the other big dogs.

  • Bobby M

    Are YOU ready?!!! (Yes I am sir!)

    Are YOU ready???! (Yes indeed sir!)

    Lets BEGIN the revenger TOUR!

    • Big Larry

      Revenge tour???

      What on earth are you thinking???

      • Bobby M

        WHAT!!!?!?? Living under ROCKS the past year!??!??

        Do you NEED reminder about last years TEAM!???!!? Some people dont get IT!