In an immediate boost for interim men’s basketball coach Josh Eilert, transfer guard Kerr Kriisa announced Sunday he plans to remain at West Virginia after initially reentering the portal following Bob Huggins’ resignation.
Kriisa, who spent three seasons at Arizona before transferring, committed to West Virginia in April. However, he announced on Friday he planned to put his name back in the portal as the search for Huggins’ replacement dragged on without a resolution.
With the Mountaineers naming assistant coach and longtime staffer Eilert the interim boss for the 2023-24 season on Saturday, Kriisa is now back in the fold.
“The support and love that the Mountaineer fanbase has showed me and this team in 2 months is unmatched,” Kriisa wrote on Twitter. “I feel so lucky to call Morgantown home. 2 years ago I put my faith in an assistant coach and we won 61 games together. Now, I am putting my faith back in a coach that put his faith in me. This staff and team are about to do something very special and I’m so glad to be a part of it.”
Kriisa, a 6-foot-3 native of Estonia, was one of the best point guards in the transfer portal this spring. He started 65 games the past two seasons for Arizona, helping lead the Wildcats to a 61-11 record in those two campaigns. He averaged 9.9 points and a league-leading 5.1 assists last season, shooting nearly 37% from 3-point range.
He was one of the key players among a huge transfer class that Huggins recruited for next season, joining Jesse Edwards (Syracuse), RaeQuan Battle (Montana State), Jose Perez (Manhattan) and Omar Silverio (Manhattan).
The West Virginia program was thrown into disarray earlier this month when Huggins was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. He resigned one day later, and the Mountaineers began a national search for a permanent replacement. The timing of the search made things difficult, leading athletic director Wren Baker to tab Eilert on Saturday.
Kriisa was one of three West Virginia players to enter the portal following Huggins’ resignation. Starting big man Tre Mitchell (11.7 points per game) visited Kentucky this weekend, while reserve guard Joe Toussaint (9.4 PPG) is considering Kansas State, Texas Tech and others. Both players are said to be open to returning to Morgantown, too.
Kerr Kriisa to stay at WVU, set ‘to do something very special’