MORGANTOWN — There simply might actually be a West Virginia connection in nearly any scenario, to the purpose the place even Josh Eilert discovered one in what was the most-unusual method to grow to be a males’s head basketball coach.
Eilert dealt with his first preseason media convention Tuesday, simply someday after follow started at WVU.
It was the primary time since 2007 that Bob Huggins was not sitting behind the microphone, and it was Huggins’ DUI arrest and resignation in June that arrange Eilert turning into the interim coach in the midst of the summer time.
How may Eilert presumably discover a West Virginia connection in that?
“There actually wasn’t that case research to make a telephone name to and get some steering,” Eilert mentioned. “I did discuss to a number of individuals who went by means of comparable conditions. Joe Mazzulla introduced a large amount of perspective.”
If there may be anybody within the teaching world who is aware of what Eilert goes by means of, it’s Mazzulla, a former WVU standout who landed his personal interim tag a yr in the past with the Boston Celtics.
Mazzulla went 5 months with the interim tag, earlier than being named the Celtics’ official head coach final Feb., and he led Boston to the second-best report within the Japanese Convention in his rookie season.
“Joe mainly informed me to take a look at it as the best alternative of your life,” Eilert mentioned. “In loads of methods, you’re enjoying with home cash, and I’m. I get an opportunity to indicate myself and show myself and be a frontrunner of this group.
“He mentioned there can be loads of challenges and management what you may management. That’s actually helped me sleep at night time once I’m staring on the ceiling making an attempt to determine how I navigate this problem or this problem.”
The Celtics have been one recreation away from reaching the NBA Finals in 2023, making the experiment with Mazzulla seemingly a profitable one.
But there have been 5 months of unknowns and perhaps some uncertainty on Mazzulla’s future till the previous Mountaineer level guard proved he belonged.
Eilert has but to educate a recreation — WVU opens the season on Nov. 6 in opposition to Missouri State — so he hasn’t had the chance but to show he belongs.
Till then, there could also be that very same cloud of uncertainty across the scenario.
“I actually don’t assume he dwelled an excessive amount of on that. That’s actually not his persona,” Eilert mentioned of Mazzulla. “He pressured that on me to go daily and assault it and the way you do greatest by your guys and the group, after which issues will work out.”
Because it stands now, it’s merely about basketball now for Eilert.
Gone are the concerns about guys transferring out and in. There are not any extra holes to fill on the teaching employees.
“It’s a sense of reduction,” he mentioned. “Each morning we get up questioning how we are able to put ourselves in the very best place to win and develop and develop as a workforce.
“Chemistry is a serious concern. A few of these guys simply obtained right here just a few weeks in the past, so we’re making an attempt to do every thing we are able to to construct that chemistry. You may have the very best items on this planet, but when they don’t work collectively and mesh, it isn’t going to work.”
When it comes to information, Eilert is fearful a couple of lack of depth on the middle place and the await the NCAA to decide on RaeQuan Battle’s speedy eligibility remains to be a priority.
Eilert additionally confirmed that switch guard Noah Farrakhan must sit out this season after transferring from Japanese Michigan.
He’s additionally placing in a whole new offense, whereas sustaining a lot of the man-to-man defensive rules taught beneath Huggins.
“I’d say (to the followers) to present us your full assist,” Eilert mentioned. “I believe they’re going to be pleasantly shocked. We’re going to play with a chip on our shoulder. I’d say give us your full assist and I believe we’ll feed off of it, and also you’re going to see stuff you most likely didn’t understand you’re going to see.”