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. photo

James “Beetle” Bolden, a two-time all-state point guard at Holmes (Ky.) High, committed to West Virginia for 2015.

“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 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.

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  • mad hatter

    higgins is doing his best to divert that attention away from his poor coaching and recruiting, and again say, it's the facilities not my my coaching,,, i thought we were going to have a great step up with the practice facility, never happened, recruiting is the same as the catlett era, and the performance the last three yrs, has been about the same
    Please eer fans , see thru this smoke screen, the higgins era is over, the once hof coach is a mere shell of what he used to be...
    what we need to change the direction and upgrade our program is a new head bb coach,,, we will be throwing good money at bad payback if we continue to believe higgins.

    • Aaron

      Please provide a list of names of the 4 and 5 star recruits of Coach Gale Catlett.

      Pony up Larry, if you can.

  • FNP

    I just hope the kid isnt soft like the last two who left. If you cant take criticism and battle through adversity then you'll never make it in this world.

    Does Huggs yell? Sure he does and so does 100 % of all coaches in basketball. Does he demand respect? Not only does he demand it for himself but for the state and school.

    Everybody who posts about his attitude and vulgarity, probably havent been around him outside of basketball. He's a great guy who loves this state and school. I guarantee there's a large majority of the people on here that havent seen the state and school. Its easy to judge somebody from what they see on TV.

    • Shadow

      I have always felt that young men might not like it but accept critical comments when they know that the comment was made to make them better and smarter. Particularly when they have been told the point before or should have figured it out for themselves from other actions. Most of what we learn is from our mistakes.

      • Aaron

        I would agree with that statement, which may be part of the reason both Harris and Henderson are leaving. Most young kids coming out of high school heading to a major division 1 program like WVU have misguided aspirations of NBA glory. Those notions are generally dispelled upon embarking on there NCAA career.

        JuWan Staten could have inadvertently played a role in that as hard as he worked last yea and the season he had, he was still not projected to go in the 1st two rounds of the draft. Neither Harris nor Henderson put in the work or were considered the players Staten was and more than likely, they knew it.

        As such, why stick around a cantankerous old man when the reality is, that no matter how much they worked, they aren't going to become NBA players. Why not go someplace that does not require defense as part of the game plan, enjoy their last two years with an added year of downtime for classes and a whole lot less yelling. Who can blame them.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      Hear, Hear

  • jay zoom

    must be highly talented if Ohio University went after him. but well see what talent this kid has if he actually signs. looks to me like Huggins is beginning to grasp for straws. THANKS OLLIE

    • Aaron

      In addition to Ohio, Purdue, Xavier, and Butler each offered with Louisville, Cincinnati, Clemson, Oklahoma State, and Florida State each showing interest.

      He's higher rated than Eron Harris and the vast majority of John Belien recruits.

      Anything else?

  • Silas Lynch

    Now, if his choices would of included his home state schools of UofL and UK and he chose WVU, I'd be more impressed.

    • susanf1218

      Well, clearly he isn't the caliber of player that U of L or UK is interested in recruiting.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    Well we beat two Big East schools to get Bolden. No lie . Seriously , Bolden lives just across the river from Cincinnati and they were not interested in him . Maybe Wvu is just a better judge of talent . Welcome James to Morgantown , hope you stay more than a couple years . If you turn out to be a star ( and the whole WVU community will be rooting for you ) I am sure the local bars will have a potent potable ( Jeopardy) called "beetle juice " in your honor . Sorry you won't get royalties - that's an NCAA violation ( at least until O'bannon wins that little claim against the NCAA starting June 9th ) . Go ahead and play a little AAU if you want but don't pick up any bad habits . In the B12 - you gotta play a little defense - just saying . I could tell you where to get the best pizza in Morgantown , but that would be self serving . Welcome again .

  • Billy

    Maybe he can get a neighbor to cuss and berate him this coming year. Sure would be good practice for his future.

  • Charles

    This kid and Levi together is the 12th ranked class in the nation for that year. So I think that practice facility is doing just fine.

  • J the C

    Welcome Mr. Bolden, and good luck!

  • mad hatter

    man o man, that 23 million dollar practice facility is really bringing in some big time recruits, the 4 and 5 stars are beating down the doors to play for huggie bear...

    • FNP

      Hatter once again you show how unintelligent you really are.

    • Aaron

      As opposed to the recruits previous coaches brought in? Refresh my memory, how many 4 star recruits called the Coliseum home prior to Hall of Fame Coach Bob Huggins taking over?

    • Mountain Navy

      More often then naught the 3 stars do better.

      • scottEer

        Mountain Navy, ask Kentucky or Kansas what 5 star players do.

        • GoEers

          They both lose to WVU. See Kansas this past March and Kentucky in March 2010.

          • Aaron

            UK pays better.

          • susanf1218

            Yeah, you just keep hanging on to that fluke of a game. I guarantee you that if WVU and UK played 10 games, KY would win 9 of them!! Every team gets lucky once in a while and every good team has an occasional bad game. You seriously aren't trying to compare the basketball dynasty that is Kentucky basketball w/WVU, are you??

  • richard

    welcome to west virginia james. once you sign that dotted line----you will always be a mountaineer!! good luck young man.

  • Omg

    Headline for March 21, 2017

    James Bolden transferres to UCLA. Wants to be closer to his family.

    • hailey

      Good one... and sad to say very very possible

    • Jeremy


    • J the C

      You dingbats, nationwide, 40% of basketball prospects, men's and women's, transfer to another school. But you goofs would rather cast aspersions on an alum who has done this state proud!

      • Darren

        Usually transfers are kids not getting playing time. With WVU, it's kids expected to get key minutes. Why would they sat out a year to transfer, when the playing time is theirs for the taking. This is not typical of the 40%. Big WVU fan, Big Huggins fan, but something is amiss.

      • Omg

        Saying the national average is 40% defeats your argument. WVU has around 55% transfer rate since 2010. It's higher than that if you look at the numbers in a different way. We should all act like this really isn't happening at our beloved school. Keep wearing the blinders folks.... I bet your wives have a best friend who's male and half your age... DENIAL!!!!

        • Aaron

          How can you look at the numbers in a different way that increases the percentage? 2 players did not qualify medically and one failed due to language problems. 4 approached Coach Huggins and decided they would prefer to play elsewhere rather than work on defense and rebounding just to become role players. Of the 10 prior to H & H leaving, only 2 were due to reasons OTHER than playing time.

        • william

          I'M LOVIN' IT

    • kyjulip

      Lately sounds about right.
      Don't know exactly what's the problem, but pray we can start getting the guys on campus and keep them in the program. BTW love KY boys going to WV for a change. :)

  • John

    Does your Mom allow you go to McDonalds by yourself?

  • william

    He will be on 'Sweatsuits' Huggins one and done plan.
    Then he will TRANSFER.
    I'm lovin' IT

    • Jed

      I sure hope he doesn't read this article and scroll down. He might change his mind once he finds out that our fanbase is replete with inbred idiots.

    • Darren

      Do you not have anything intelligent to add?

    • Yogi Wahoo

      Bill......what's the problem..does your school not have a site that you can share your vast wisdom with? did they also not have a spring game? ...and their last spring game was at a high school field?
      Bill....think about it ...why spend the energy? save it for your day job....remember the magic words....WOULD YOU LIKE FRIES WITH THAT SIR?

      • WV77Steve

        You sir, are inferring he has a day job and is not just sitting in his parents basement all day thinking of witty things to post.

    • J the C


  • Dave

    Excellent recruiting by the Mountaineer coaches. I hope he is one of those guys that is truly committed once he gets here. If he is, I'm sure Huggs can coach him up and get him ready for the NBA.

  • Mister Man

    Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. Well, you're dang near a local. Anyway, welcome. Thank you for choosing to be a Mountaineer.