Texas Tech's Robinson tries to steal the ball from West Virginia's Hinds during the NCAA men's Big 12 basketball tournament in Kansas City, Missouri

Jabarie Hinds, two others to transfer from West Virginia

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West Virginia’s roster took a hit at guard on Monday. Word is out that Bob Huggins has had a few players leave his program already, with the defections of guards Jabarie Hinds and Aaron Brown along with forward Volodymyr Gerun.

Hinds is the one loss that hurts the Mountaineers. The 5-11 sophomore averaged 7.4 points and 1.8 rebounds to go with 1.6 assists in 22.8 minutes per game last season. His production was sporadic at the end of the year for the 13-19 squad, scoring in double figures only once in WVU’s last nine games after registering seven double-figure scoring games in the previous 11 contests.

Brown, also a sophomore, averaged 1.9 points and 0.9 rebounds for WVU, with the 6-10 Gerun capping his one-year run in Morgantown averaging 1.3 points and 0.7 rebounds.

You’d have to wonder how much of Hinds’ decision was affected by the play of freshman guard Eron Harris, who averaged 9.8 points and 2.3 rebounds this season. Dayton transfer Juwan Staten also showed his worth in his first season with the team, averaging 7.6 points and a team-leading 3.3 assists in 27.7 minutes.

Losing Brown and Gerun seems like a playing time issue. Hinds is a loss that can be healed with the addition of a guard, but their 2013 class doesn’t have one. Though the backcourt of Harris and Staten can shoulder the load for the time being.

Though WVU will need someone to step up and be the scorer next season. No one on their 2012-13 roster averaged more than Harris and their second-leading scorer, Deniz Kilicli, has exhausted his eligibility.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Stanford loses key veteran guard to stress fracture

Marcus Allen
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Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.

“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”

The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.

What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.

The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.