Alex Slitz/The Yongstown Vindicator

Derek Culver (1) dunks during Warren Harding’s win over Fitch last January in Warren, Ohio.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Derek Culver, the four-star power forward spending this year at prep school after failing to qualify at West Virginia, re-signed with the Mountaineers on Thursday.

Coach Bob Huggins, preparing for the season opener at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, announced that the 6-foot-10 recruit signed his national letter of intent for the 2018-19 academic year.

“Derek is a big and strong athletic guy who can run and should be exceptional in our ‘Press Virginia’ defense. He will add much-needed rebounding to our team,” Huggins said.

Culver’s inability to enroll at West Virginia this season led to walk-on center Logan Routt receiving a scholarship.

From Boardman, Ohio, Culver led Warren G. Harding High to a 23-4 record in 2016 as a junior by averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. His senior season ended after only a few games when Culver was dismissed from the team.

Culver currently is attending Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., and plans to enroll at West Virginia next summer provided he meets academic criteria. That sets up WVU to have a loaded front line next season, considering Sagaba Konate, Maciej Bender, Wesley Harris, Lamont West and Esa Ahmad are all underclassmen.

Gordon signs

Andrew Gordon, the 6-10 forward from Northwest Florida State College, submitted his letter of intent Thursday afternoon and became the second signee.

Gordon, a former high school football standout who is considered a basketball project, is sitting out this season with a knee injury and will have three years’ eligibility remaining at WVU.

“Drew’s upside is tremendous,” Huggins said. “He is another big man who can really run the floor.”

The November signing period continues this week with other 2018 commitments expected to sign with the Mountaineers, including three-star guards Trey Doomes and Jordan McCabe.

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