No timetable for Ebanks' return

Updated: November 26, 2009, 6:22 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- West Virginia coach Bob Huggins remained non-committal when sophomore Devin Ebanks will play this season after sitting out his third straight game.

Ebanks has been out for personal reasons, according to the school.

Ebanks practiced Wednesday at the Anaheim Convention Center and again Thursday morning. But Ebanks didn't get off the bench during West Virginia's 85-62 quarterfinal win over Long Beach State in the 76 Classic.

Prior to the game, Huggins said he would decide if Ebanks would play based on how the game was going. Huggins said after the game that Ebanks' lack of practice time is the main reason he didn't play and might not again on Friday.

Huggins said it would be hard for Ebanks to slide in after his lack of practice. Huggins said he would make a decision as the game unfolds, during Friday's semifinal against either Texas A&M or Clemson.

West Virginia's coaching staff has been quiet regarding Ebanks' absence. Ebanks wasn't on the bench for the Mountaineers' season-opening win over Loyola of Maryland on Nov. 15 but did sit on the bench for Tuesday night's win over The Citadel in nearby Charleston.

Huggins reiterated again Wednesday it is a private matter for Ebanks.

"If this was your kid, would you want me standing up at the top of my lungs saying, 'What's going on?' No you wouldn't," Huggins said on Wednesday. "These are my kids. He's fine. He's fine. He'll be fine. I've just got to figure out when to get him in. I don't know what we're going to do."

Huggins played 12 of the 13 on the roster during the rout of Long Beach State.

Ebanks had scored in 12 of his last 13 games last season. He was billed as one of the top forwards in the country, tabbed as a first-team preseason all-American by The Sporting News and on the preseason watch list for the Naismith and Wooden Awards.

The Long Island, N.Y., native is also being billed as a potential lottery pick in the 2010 NBA draft if he declares early. Ebanks started 34 games last season as a freshman, averaging 10.5 points and 7.8 rebounds. He averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in three Big East tournament games, including grabbing a career-high 18 boards against Notre Dame.

Ebanks had 20 double-figure scoring games and 12 double-figure rebounding games as a freshman.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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