BECKLEY (AP) — Former state high school player of the year Noah Cottrill is resuming his college basketball career at Mountain State University.
The 6-foot-3 Cottrill tells The Register-Herald that he’ll play for the NAIA Cougars starting this fall.
Cottrill withdrew from West Virginia University in early 2011 after being suspended indefinitely by coach Bob Huggins during his freshman season. No details of the suspension were given.
Cottrill says he’s missed basketball and that he’s been conducting extensive workouts over the past several months.
Mountain State coach Bob Bolen says he’s excited to have Cottrill.
As a highly touted youth player, the already boisterous and flashy high school freshman announced his intentions publicly — by verbally committing to WVU at least two full years before he had to.
But after a highly decorated and successful prep career on the basketball floor, and a host of personal issues off of it for the past two years, Cottrill has landed in Beckley.
Cottrill will suit up for the Cougars this winter as MSU takes aim for yet another berth in the national championship tournament in Kansas City.
Cottrill will have four years of eligibility.
“It feels great,” Cottrill said. “I’ve had some setbacks, but I’ve been on the right path for a good while now. I’m doing right.
“All I have left to do now is play college basketball and get my degree. That’s my main goal. I want to keep getting better and better – and not just on the basketball court.”Cottrill was one of the nation’s top rated prep point guards in the 2010 recruiting class, and was rated a 4-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com. ESPN ranked him the 16th best point guard and 68th best player overall in the 2010 recruiting class.
He arrived in Morgantown after winning a Class AAA state championship at Logan. But by October 2010, WVU head coach Bob Huggins had suspended Cottrill from the team “indefinitely” for conduct “unbecoming of a Mountaineer.”
Then in January 2011, WVU released a statement saying Cottrill had withdrawn from the school.
Things took yet another sour turn. In December 2011, Cottrill was charged with possession of a controlled substance and petty larceny, both misdemeanors, and taken to Southwestern Regional Jail where he was released on $2,500 bond.“My family has my back too,” Cottrill said. “My brother Ricky has been a huge support for me. We talk every day. He reminds me that a lot of people do care about me. He’s been a big inspiration. Everyone’s support has been great.”
Cottrill had a lot of options to weigh in picking a school.
“I still had four years at either NCAA Division II or NAIA,” he explained. “The thing with NCAA Division I, when your D-I clock starts, you have five years to complete four years of eligibility. If I would have went somewhere and sat out (due to a transfer rules) I would only have one year left (to play). If I’d want to get my degree, I would have to stay another two years without basketball. So that was a huge factor. That was a lot to swallow.”Cottrill began his high school career at Poca, playing two years there, scoring 1,164 points. He averaged 23.8 ppg as a freshman and 30.9 as a sophomore.
He transferred to Beckley’s Mountain State Academy, a now defunct prep school, his junior year.
The standout finished out his high school career by winning the Class AAA state championship at Logan. He was given the Bill Evans Award, which signifies the W.Va. boys basketball player of the year.
Cottrill had many accomplishments during his prep career, including 2,808 career points in four years.
But official state records do not include his 836 points scored his junior season in 34 games at Mountain State Academy, a non-WVSSAC school.
(The Register-Herald contributed to this article)