One of the better upside big men in the class of 2017, Derek Culver called it quits with his college recruitment on Tuesday afternoon, announcing that he would continue his basketball career at West Virginia University next fall. A 6-foot-9 power forward that can play either spot on the block, Culver brings giant upside and a college ready physique to the playing floor.
Being heavily tracked by the likes of Kansas, NC State, and Arizona throughout the month of July, along with the aforementioned WVU basketball program, Culver has always been a priority for Bob Huggins and his staff in Morgantown. While he has been one of the least covered top-50 prospects both nationally and regionally, Culver’s upside and potential is as good as it gets from the Midwest.
Injuries and battles of inconsistency have bothered Culver in the past but as he has continued to fight through it in producing more frequently, the Buckeye State native seems to be the type that excels and improves under the tutelage of Bob Huggins.
Running with the Ohio Basketball Club program the past few summers on the adidas circuit, Culver has shown flashes of brilliance. He sports a set of long arms, is mobile as a rim runner, and is a matchup issue out of the high post setting. For a big man, Culver sports great vision and passing skills facing the basket and out of the double team on the low block. While he does need to become more efficient scoring the basketball and at the foul line, Culver is a solid low post defender and a fine rebounder of the basketball on both sides of the glass.
The first commitment this summer for West Virginia, Culver joins Brandon Knapper, an original member of the 2016 that took a year of prep this fall, in creating a solid two-person tandem within the 2017 class thus far. Expect for the Mountaineers to further pursue other options in the senior crop as they remain heavily involved with the likes of Darryl Morsell, a combo guard and break out from the summer, Chase Johnson, an in-state combo forward type, along with recently offered play making forward Sean Mobley.