James “Beetle” Bolden, one of the top high school players in Kentucky in the class of 2015, has left the West Virginia University basketball team, according to multiple media reports late Wednesday.
Bolden, a junior guard, has not played since Jan. 26 because of a badly sprained ankle and has battled several other injuries this season. He was not expected to return from the high ankle sprain in time to play any more this season. Bolden has played in 18 of the Mountaineers’ 30 games in 2018-19, starting 12 of them. He averaged 12.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game during a disappointing 12-18 season for West Virginia.
According to a report in The Dominion Post of Morgantown, W.Va., Bolden is set to graduate from WVU in May and could use the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule to move to a different school and be eligible next season.
The 6-foot Bolden was a three-star recruit coming out of Holmes High School in Covington in 2015. He chose West Virginia from a list of five finalists that also included Butler, Ohio, Purdue and Xavier.
In three seasons at West Virginia, Bolden averaged 7.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 82 career games that included 15 starts.