Holton sounds adjusted

While there’s no arguing WVU lost a lot when Eron Harris decided to transfer and that WVU gained a lot, and maybe more, with Juwan Staten’s decision to stay in school, there’s probably some disputing the expected contributions from ineligible forwards Jonathan Holton and Elijah Macon.

I don’t want to pour water on anyone or anything — that seems to be frowned upon all of a sudden — but the concerns are pretty clear and pretty real. At the minimum, nothing is guaranteed.

What Holton has going for him, though, is what worked against him and the Mountaineers this season.

He had to sit out the entire campaign. But he practiced. He observed. He adjusted. He was as close to the real deal as one could be and that figures to remove some of the awkwardness or the struggles that appear when a player transfers and is thrust into something right from the start.

Don’t get me wrong. He’ll still need to get his legs and adapt to the size, speed and skill and all of that and he’ll have to find and his spot and take off his shoes. But it happens faster now, right? Put it this way: It happen faster for Holton than it does for Macon, who didn’t practice or participate this season and who’s been otherwise limited by a bum wrist.

And Holton, heretofore silent on all maters, has advised fans to expect a double-double. And he made the Dean’s list in the fall. He’d like you to believe he’s ready for what’s next because he’s always been ready.

“No player who is as competitive as me wants to sit out and just practice every day. But as I was sitting out, I was getting better,” said Holton. “My teammates, my coaches kept motivating me to keep going and encouraging me to go to class, study hall, get your grades and you’ll be back next year. They kept giving me hope, hope, hope. I never lost hope.”

Losing hope isn’t in Holton’s blood. He found out at a young age that not everything in life is handed to a person. It must be fought for if it is worth having. He didn’t need to look any further than his own family to see that lesson first hand.

“I learned from my mother as a young kid. She’s got 10 kids and she didn’t have a job, so she had to really go out there and work to feed us,” said Holton. “Every opportunity I get, I try to do my best, go hard and motivate myself to be the best that I can be.”

11 Responses to “Holton sounds adjusted”

  1. Wayward Eer says:

    I must admit I have some elevated expectations for Holton. He has the potential to give us something we needed, that length, explosiveness and athleticism around the rim. I think that with him and the returnees we should be better in that area. However I am expecting Macon to be something like Watkins, maybe with a little more basic talent. Anything we would get from him would be a pleasant surprise.

  2. SheikYbuti says:

    “I don’t want to pour water on anyone or anything — that seems to be frowned upon all of a sudden”

    I wouldn’t worry, Mike. At a bare minimum, you need an AARP card before you can be considered one of the “old guard.”

  3. netbros says:

    Mike, when you pour water on someone, you always do it so smooth they don’t even know they’re wet.

  4. EER81 says:

    Agreed, you remain balanced with a cup some times half full and other times half empty. Some others in your profession have taken to using fire hoses on ADOL and HCDH…

  5. Joe Elliott says:

    Change that water to sugar, Mike, and you can pour away.

  6. Wicked Witch says:

    I’m melting.

  7. tls62pa says:

    Do we not want to pour water too quickly because of the Aaron Murray situation? It all smells like similar expectations.

  8. smeer says:

    Mike context is everything. You have always come across as collegial, balanced, a thinker, not prone to knee-jerk and measured in your words – in other words – professional. I gather from your book that you will always appreciate what Bob Hertzel has done for your career.

    But that was a huge faux pas on the tweet that cannot be overcome with an apology – he let the entire mountaineer nation know how he feels about HCDH – and I am not sure anything can change that.

    Up until this point, while I felt Mr Hertzel was prone to fall back on too oft-repeated writing patterns, I considered him to be fair and balanced for the most part – even if “old guard.” He loves WVU. So did coach Stew.

  9. hoot says:

    two impertinent observations…
    1..you can’t have a wet t shirt contest without a little water (or beer)

    2..that AARP card reference stung a little sheik…I’ve been throwing away
    those membership invitations for a while now. Maybe I’m in denial, but the only
    time I feel like I’m old guard is when I’m playing one-on-one with my 12 year old son.

    Circumstances have prevented me from dropping in here much lately…I’ve missed it.

  10. SheikYbuti says:

    I’ve had my AARP card for over a year now, but they’re not very hard to get (my wife is on my membership, and she’s eight years younger than I). I might be “old guard,” but I’m not “closed mind.” I know exactly how to program my VCR, er . . . DVD player, er . . . DVR, er . . . Roku.

  11. Bob Hertzel's Clown says:

    I have some seltzer water you can use…