Mountaineers continue to make splash in portal, add Montana State’s RaeQuan Battle

Already this offseason, West Virginia’s men’s basketball team took a big step forward solidifying its backcourt with the addition of point guard Kerr Kriisa and frontcourt by adding Jesse Edwards.

The Mountaineers’ latest grab from the NCAA Transfer Portal is a wing capable of scoring in a variety of ways.

RaeQuan Battle, a 6-foot-5 guard who starred last season at Montana State, offered his commitment Wednesday to West Virginia, where he will use his final season of eligibility.

Battle was the leading scorer at 17.7 points on a Bobcats’ team that won 25 games and the Big Sky Championship to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. 

A native of Tulalip, Wa., Battle scored in double figures in 31 of 35 games, including 19 straight to end MSU’s season, which finished with an opening-round NCAA loss to Kansas State — a game Battle scored 27 points in.

Battle, one of three unanimous first-team all-Big Sky honorees, shot nearly 47 percent overall and 35.3 percent on 150 three-point attempts. He was also an elite free-throw shooter, making 120-of-144 attempts for an 83.3 percent clip.

Battle played nearly 30 minutes on average and increased his production in a big way from his first season with the Bobcats. 

In the 2021-22 campaign, Battle averaged 8.5 points over 35 appearances and 17.2 minutes. Battle’s shooting percentages of 45.7 from the field and 34.9 from long range were similar to what he posted last season.

Battle began his career at Washington, where he appeared in 34 games over two seasons with averages of 4.9 and 4.6 points, respectively.

For his career, Battle averages 10.4 points on 43 percent shooting. 

Including guard Jose Perez, who was with the Mountaineers but unable to play last season, Battle becomes WVU’s fifth addition by way of transfer for the upcoming season.

WVU also previously added 6-3 guard Omar Silverio. Silverio played one season at Rhode Island, three at Hofstra and was set to play with Perez at Manhattan before both opted to seek a new home due to a coaching change just before the start of last season.

The Mountaineers lost three players that no longer had eligibility in starters Kedrian Johnson, Erik Stevenson and Emmitt Matthews Jr., while seldom-used reserves Jamel King and Josiah Davis have announced their intention to transfer to Kennesaw State and Tennessee Tech, respectively.

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