MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Logan Routt was the feel-good story of the year last season. He was the West Virginia native that walked on the basketball team and after a lot of hard work earned a scholarship.
Despite no longer holding that walk-on status, the 6-foot-11, 260-pound forward still had to prove he belonged.
That was exactly what the big man did.
Routt never possessed the flashy game like Sagaba Konate or dropped the points like Jevon Carter. However, he was a crucial component in the Mountaineers’ Sweet 16 run last season.
The Cameron High School graduate was featured in One Shining Moment after the National Championship.
Over the summer, old faces left the basketball program and new ones began their journey at WVU.
When that happened the Mountaineers had one more body than scholarships available.
Therefore, Routt did the selfless thing. He gave up his scholarship and went back to walk-on status.
“I talked to Huggs and he said that’s what we could do and I said ‘OK’,” Routt said. “I just listen to Huggs. He knows way more than I do. Whatever I need to do to help the team win.”
With the Cameron native giving up his scholarship, it gave the Mountaineers a chance to pick up four-star stud Emmitt Matthews Jr. Now, WVU has 15 capable bodies that can contribute this year.
Despite going back to a walk-on, Routt is expected to see significant minutes. Konate and Routt are the two players at their position with experience.
Routt saw action in 31 games lasts season, averaging 7.5 minutes per game. And he played 7.5 minutes per game. He averaged 1.1 points and 2.1 rebounds. Also, he had 11 blocks.
During the final months of the season and the post season, Routt’s playing time increased significantly.
Last season was a surprise to everyone, including the former high school quarterback.
“My very first year I never would of thought that,” Routt said. “As the time went on, the more I actually played I was like why can’t I do that? It was all just hard work. I wasn’t getting those minutes at the beginning of the season. I had to take advantage of every second I was on the floor and do everything I needed to do. It was really all about hard work.”
All the time Routt dedicated and the tough grind he endured finally were paying off.
An early season trip to Florida to battle UCF is where he really started to see that he could play at this level and be successful
“A lot of my family in Florida was there,” Routt said. “My dad, my uncles that never really get to see me play. And I threw on down and had a couple of blocks and I pointed up into the stands and it made me feel real good. I got a lot confidence from that.”
As one of the older players the redshirt junior hopes to pick up where he left off. Routt is stronger and faster this season.
Most importantly, he is a team player and is focused on winning.
Cover Photo Credit: Jake Roth- USA TODAY Sports