MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia garnered a point guard commitment for 2015 on Wednesday when three-star prospect James “Beetle” Bolden of Covington, Ky., chose the Mountaineers over offers from Xavier, Butler, Purdue and Ohio.
The 6-foot Bolden, who compiled 20.8 points and 3.4 assists per game while earning all-state honors as a junior at Holmes High, said he plans to make it official with West Virginia during the November early signing period. He joins 6-10 center Levi Cook of Huntington Prep as pledges for the 2015 class, which likely could accommodate at least two more players.
“It’s actually a great opportunity for me to play for a legendary coach like Coach Huggins,” Bolden told MetroNews “Sportsline” on Wednesday night. “He’ll push me through everything.”
With Juwan Staten and Gary Browne entering their senior seasons, West Virginia needed to replenish the point guard position. As the roster is currently constituted, recent junior college addition Tarik Phillip—who has three seasons of eligibility remaining—would be the only pure point guard in the program when Bolden enrolls.
Xavier reportedly offered Bolden a scholarship as a sophomore and Butler was widely viewed as the leader to land Bolden. But the player told WVSports.com that West Virginia “felt like I was home.” Bolden also cited a close recruiting relationship established with Mountaineers assistant coach Erik Martin.
“Erik Martin did an excellent job here building a relationship and sticking with it,” said Rivals writer Keenan Cummings. “Bolden also really liked the fact that the offense West Virginia plays will allow him to do things with the ball screens and the picking and popping. Coach Huggins also played a central role because Bolden really wanted to play for him.”
With Bolden at the helm, Holmes High reached the Kentucky elite eight in 2013, and posted a 69-8 record the past two seasons, losing to the eventual state champion each time.
“Like (2014 signees) Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter, he can be a scoring point guard, but Bolden is more natural at the position and has been playing it for most of his life,” Cummings said. “He has been recruited to put the ball on his hands and make things happen.”
View Bolden’s “Sportsline” interview at the top of the page to learn more about what drew him to West Virginia and the origin of his curious nickname.