Crazy Potential

West Virginia does things to people.  If you only spend a short amount of time here, you may not understand, but if you live here for a long period time, its magic seeps into your pores.  You start to realize that a whole state of good, hard-working, honest people are united behind one team, the West Virginia Mountaineers.  West Virginia is the Mountaineers.

Jaemyn Brakefield, the 6’9 220 pound 5 star recruit, is originally from Jackson, Mississippi but has played at Huntington Prep and lived in Huntington, West Virginia since he was in the 9th grade.

Brakefield is exceptionally special.  He is a top 20-30 prospect in the entire country and he’s an in-state product.  Yes, he’s from Mississippi but he’s grown into a man in West Virginia.  To get technical, he only really lived in Mississippi from the ages of 11 through 14.  His formative years were spent in Huntington.  Jaemyn Brakefield is a West Virginian.  Sorry, Mississippi.

While in Huntington, Brakefield has been dominant on an absolutely terrific Huntington Prep team.  On a team of future stars and highly-touted recruits, he’s the superstar.  As a Junior last season, he averaged 19.3 point per game on 51% from the field.  He’s a left-handed powerhouse under the basket and can step out and shoot from the mid-range as well.

His Head Coach at Huntington Prep, Arkell Bruce, described him as ” very versatile, can guard multiple positions, an exceptional talent, a top 20 player nationally” during my interview with him.  Bruce has coached many talented players but none with any more elite upside than Brakefield.  Bruce also revealed during the interview that Brakefield is very interested in WVU.

Bob Huggins’ 2020 class started off with a bang with the signing of 4 star player Isaiah Cottrell.  Cottrell, the 61st ranked player in the 2020 class according to 247 Sports, is ultra-talented and a perfect fit in the Bob Huggins’ system.  I described him as “the future of West Virginia basketball” when no one else thought he’d ultimately choose to play in Morgantown.  (

When Cottrell officially announced his commitment last week, one of the very first people to congratulate him was none other than Jaemyn Brakefield.  Brakefield left the following message as a reply on Cottrell’s Instagram account:

Obviously this could be a simple congratulatory message to a fellow Top 100 player.  Or it could be more than that.  Both participated in the NBPA Top 100 Camp from June 11th-16th and both were considered “standouts” by Max Preps’ Jordan Divens.

Talented players want to play with other talented players.  Cottrell’s signing was only the beginning for Bob Huggins; he will likely now turn to the tremendous in-state talent in West Virginia for the 2020 class.  It all started with Cottrell and the focus is now on Brakefield.  AJ Hoggard, Obinna Anochili-Killen, etc. are also major talents and very real possibilities to become Mountaineers.  Once you have West Virginia in your system, it’s hard to get it out.  The unsigned in-state talent combined with Isaiah Cottrell could form one of Bob Huggins’ best recruiting classes ever.