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Key transfers cleared for West Virginia ahead of game vs. UMass


RaeQuan Battle and Noah Farrakhan will be allowed to play for West Virginia on Saturday when it faces UMass in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic in Springfield, Mass.

A path was cleared for both to participate in the UMass game Wednesday when a U.S. District judge issued a 14-day temporary restraining order against the NCAA and its ability to prevent two-time undergraduate transfers from gaining immediate eligibility.

As two-time transfers, Battle and Farrakhan were prohibited from playing in West Virginia’s first nine games of the 2023-24 season. The program confirmed in a statement Friday night that they will be dressed and available to play UMass.

“We have had many conversations with a variety of parties since Wednesday’s court ruling in Wheeling, but most importantly, we have had extensive discussions with RaeQuan, Noah and their families,” West Virginia interim coach Josh Eilert said in a statement.

“They have expressed their desire to compete with their fellow teammates and represent WVU on the court. This was their decision to compete.”

Battle is a fifth-year guard who played two seasons at Washington and two more at Montana State. He was considered one of the top prospects in the transfer portal after averaging 17.7 points per game last season at Montana State.

Farrakhan, a 6-foot-1 guard, began his college career at East Carolina and then spent two seasons at Eastern Michigan.

West Virginia (4-5) has been led by Quinn Slazinski (17.0 points per game) and Jesse Edwards (16.2 points, 9.3 rebounds per game) in the meantime. The Mountaineers’ last outing was a 66-60 win over Drexel that ended a two-game losing streak.

The Mountaineers will be playing a UMass team (5-2) coming off Saturday’s 91-77 victory over UMass-Lowell. UMass center Josh Cohen had 25 points and 14 rebounds in that win.

“It’s a credit to him and our team,” UMass coach Frank Martin said. “Guys want to win. He’s a good player. They know the ball gets to Josh (and) good things happen.”

Cohen leads UMass in scoring (18.0) and rebounding (8.0). Forward Matt Cross is averaging 16.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game and ranks second on the team in each category.

–Field Level Media

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