(Citynet Statewide Sunday Sportsline interview with Logan Routt)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — On a roster that covers the ‘Final Four’ and ‘Press Virginia’ eras, Logan Routt is the youngest member of the Best Virginia roster. Three months after his collegiate career ended, Routt accepted an invitation to add some depth on the team’s formidable front line.
“John Flowers and Greg Richardson both reached out to me at the same time and asked me if I was down to play,” Routt said. “I couldn’t turn it down. I jumped on it right away.”
With an unexpected gap in his schedule, Routt remained in game shape to prepare for potential professional opportunities abroad.
“I knew my overseas career was just around the corner. I was literally in the middle of working out for that when they called me. I really didn’t miss a beat. I took a little bit of time off just after the five years I had of non-stop going. In quarantine, I was sitting in the house for about a week and a half. And then I got tired of doing that. So I got right back to cardio and working out.”
Routt is hopeful that a strong performance at the TBT could open up some eyes much as it did for Nate Adrian in last year’s tournament.
“I might wait to sign with a team until the TBT is over. You never know what could happen through this. Nate got a good offer just from playing in the TBT last year. Maybe I could get a little boost.”
Playing on a team with some of the best players to come through WVU over the last decade is an experience Routt will treasure and learn from.
“It is cool that I get to play with a group of guys that half of them I played with and the other half I grew up watching play in the Final Four.
“Playing on the team with all the rest of the guys will be a great experience. I am excited to learn from everybody.”
Last year, Best Virginia played multiple exhibition games to lead up to the TBT. That opportunity will not be available this year. Their first game will be the tournament opener against Herd That on July 5.
“It is going to be a little hard a first because we haven’t had much live action since March. It will be a challenge but I am excited for it.”
Routt appeared in 103 games for West Virginia, making a dozen starts. His college career abruptly ended when the Big 12 Tournament, and eventually the NCAA Tournament, were canceled due to the pandemic.
“It didn’t really hit me whenever they actually announced it until I got back off the bus in Morgantown. We were all like, what do we do now? I have been going at this for five years. I wasn’t really mentally prepared to start the next journey right away.
“At least we had a great senior night against Baylor. No one knew that was going to be our last game. You just have to take the good things from the bad.”
The Cameron High School graduate also excelled in football and baseball for the Dragons. In the spring of his senior year, Routt decided basketball was going to be his focus at the next level. A walk-on opportunity came from the Mountaineers and he would later play his way into a scholarship.
“Right before high school graduation, WVU got in contact with me and asked if I wanted to walk on. It was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”
College teams are permitted to take international trips once every four years. Arriving on campus in the summer of 2015, the Mountaineers went to the Bahamas. Routt redshirted in his first year, making him eligible for a fifth season. In the summer of 2019, WVU headed to Spain.
“That was one of the best times I ever had in my life. The week to ten days we had, all of us in a different country exploring, they gave us a lot of freedom so we broke up in groups. We would just walk the streets of Madrid, miles and miles from the hotel checking out all kinds of restaurants and things to do. And I played some of the best basketball I ever played there.”
Routt was a member of four twenty-win teams in his five-year career. He believes the 2015-2016 team may have been the best of the bunch. That squad went 26-9 but was bounced in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I really thought we were getting some type of ring out of this. We were so good. That’s when ‘Press Virginia’ was really in full stride. Without that Stephen F. Austin loss, no one could really prepare for us. It just so happened that we got matched up against Huggs’ former assistant (Brad Underwood) and they played very similar to us. And they were ready for us. Without that, I thought we were going to the Final Four at least.”