MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An unconventional NBA Draft process and an experienced roster for next winter have led Jarrod West back to Marshall for his senior season.
Last week, the Clarksburg native and Notre Dame High School graduate announced he was withdrawing from the NBA Draft and returning to Huntington to complete his career with the Thundering Herd.
“I think that was the best opportunity for me,” West said on MetroNews Talkline. “I think we are going to have a really good team next year. I think we are going to be able to make some noise. With everybody coming back and bringing some new guys in, I think we are going to have a really good year.”
The normal NBA Draft preparation process has been significantly altered by the pandemic. The annual combine was canceled and teams could not host prospects for individual workouts.
“It was hard to really get any feedback or hear from anybody. I am grateful for the opportunity and I think it will be good for me.
“I think I will have a better year this coming year than I did this past year. I feel like I am going to learn a lot more and be a lot better.”
West was a third team all-Conference USA selection as a junior, averaging 14.2 points, 4.1 assists and 4 rebounds per game. He led the league minutes played. Marshall did not have a senior on their roster this past season.
“We have a lot of experience. We have a lot of guards, bigs and shooters. So we should hit the ground running next year. There’s no excuse for us next year with what we have. And we are bringing in some new guys as well. We have a deep team and a really competitive group.
“We should build off of last season. Towards the end of the year, we started to play a lot better together. I felt like we were jelling and hitting our stride at the right time.”
West was named to the Conference USA All-Defensive team as a junior. He led the league in steals with 65.
“I’ll always be the best defender I can be, picking up full court, getting steals and adjusting the tempo of the game from a defensive standpoint.”
One of four seniors expected to return to the Marshall roster, West has established himself as an unquestioned team leader.
“Sometimes getting on people is good, sometimes it is bad. Some people take it the right way, some people in the moment don’t really want to see you or talk to you. At the end of the day, that is part of the role. I feel pretty comfortable in my role in doing that.”
Like many college basketball players, West has been getting shots up as much as possible while in-person practices have been shut down. His father, former Mountaineer Jarrod West, Sr. even takes the court on occasion.
“He plays a little bit every now and then. He tries to compete against me and my brother (Jaidyn). He is still able play a little bit. He doesn’t challenge me 1-on-1 or anything like that. But if we play 3-on-3 or 5-on-5, he can still play a good bit. Obviously, he knows how to play. He developed me and my brother. I learned everything I got from him.”