Here’s the full story on Jabarie Hinds’ transfer from West Virginia to UMass:
Jabarie Hinds requested his release from West Virginia earlier this month, saying it was a bad match but also shouldering some blame himself. On Thursday, the former Mount Vernon High School star expressed hope that he can start anew, both with himself and at a new home.
The former New York State “Mr. Basketball” gave his commitment to UMass Thursday. He also considered St. Joseph and, to a lesser extent, Iona, although he never visited the latter.
“The first school to contact me was UMass,” said Hinds, who played two seasons at West Virginia. “I had a good relationship with the head coach and two weeks ago I went on my visit. I had a nice time. I saw everything and the atmosphere seemed great for me.”
Hinds indicated that UMass’ faster pace on offense and defense were better suited to his game. He also visited St. Joe’s last week.
He wouldn’t comment on why his game didn’t fit under coach Bob Huggins at West Virginia; he wouldn’t absolve himself, either.
“It just wasn’t going right for me,” said Hinds, who started 26 of 32 games but played an average of six minutes fewer than he had as a freshman. “I had a bad sophomore year and I thought it was best for me to transfer.”
He has vowed to regain his focus after a frustrating season. Hinds won’t be eligible to play again until 2014-15.
“Some days (at West Virginia) I would lose focus. Certain stuff would happen and I didn’t’ want to play,” he said. “Now i’m going to have a whole new attitude.”
Iona once had its chance to benefit from Hinds’ rededication. He had scheduled a visit there for this weekend before calling former Mount Vernon coach Garee Bryant (an Iona assistant) and canceling.
Hinds said he discussed Iona with his mother, who felt he’d be better served enrolling somewhere further from home.
“I liked the school,” Hinds said. “That’s a great program. That would’ve been a great fit for me also.”