West Virginia gets key player back… just in time for Kentucky game


We should’ve known West Virginia’s Esa Ahmad would be back in time to be ready for Kentucky. The junior forward was one of only two players to average double figures for the Mountaineers last season, but he’s been out all of 2017-18 while serving an academic suspension.

Ahmad—who Bob Huggins called the best rebounding small forward in the Big 12—is all set to return to West Virginia’s lineup on Saturday. Huggins said, “He may not be at the top of his game come Saturday, but it won’t be long after that he will be.”

Not long after, like, say, two weeks when Kentucky comes to town?

How convenient.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

14 responses to “West Virginia gets key player back… just in time for Kentucky game”

  1. NJReturns

    And we’ll have Vanderbilt.

    1. RealCatsFan

      I sure hope so!

    2. Rembrandt

      I expect Vanderbilt to play in our January 20 home game against Florida. That would make WVA his third game.

      The WVA game is a golden opportunity for UK, with nothing to lose. Road game against a higher ranked team. If we lose, well, we were supposed to lose according to the rankings. If we win, our young team turns a psychological corner while still in January. To pull it off, the Cats will have to step up their offensive game.

    3. meeksfor3

      Actually Rembrandt that “If we lose, well, we were supposed to lose according to the rankings” doesn’t seem to apply to UK in the polls anyway. We lost to UT who was favored and playing at home and plummeted in the rankings compared to UNC who lost at home to Wofford. Heck last year Duke lost 2 of 3 games and went up in the rankings.

    4. Rembrandt

      I don’t wish to get into the conspiracy theories or the arbitrary insignificance of January college basketball polls. As explained above, I believe the road game at WVA is a great opportunity for our young basketball team to turn a psychological corner. It has very little to do with Jarred Vanderbilt, per se, but it has a whole lot to do with a group of talented freshman developing cohesiveness and mental toughness at a level of play that is still relatively new to them, especially when compared to the experience level of the opponent.

  2. mikeintn

    That’s good, don’t want them to have any excuse when we go to Morgantown and kick their butt.

  3. davis2319

    Hopefully Vanderbilt will be playing by then!

  4. njcat54

    This game will be good for the Cats win or lose. It will show them how to play defense and with toughness.

  5. Lip Man 1

    Always happens. Would be shocked if it didn’t.

  6. big cat

    Anyone see NC STATE – CLEMSON game last night…upset in the works…GUESS the ref…our favorite ROOFER…lol

  7. kjd

    This is the state of UK basketball? You’re bemoaning the return of WV’s best player. You’re fearful of playing a team at full strength. Our team of 5 Stars led by Coach Cal. We’re now hoping to catch teams at less than full strength. I guess this shows what you think about our current team.

    1. Eazy

      West Va is the number 2 team in the country. They’d be favored vs any team at home.

    2. Eazy

      Oh, and UK isn’t at full strength. Vanderbilt > Ahmad

  8. BBM

    I live in WV and it was known at the start of the season Ahmad was going to be out due to grades. What WVU has done this season after the Texas A&M loss to start the season is nothing short of remarkable.

    That said, I am dreading this game. Morgantown isn’t a fun place to play (ask Kansas, who has never won there since WVU entered the Big 12), and two of WVUs seniors, Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr (remember him?) were seniors on the 2015 team that was destroyed by almost 40.

    Home game, revenge, hostile road environment. I think WVU wins by double digits.