Former WVU Guard Alex Ruoff Rehabbing Torn ACL in Morgantown - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Former WVU Guard Alex Ruoff Rehabbing Torn ACL in Morgantown

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MORGANTOWN -

Alex Ruoff scored 1,420 points in his West Virginia University basketball career. Ruoff was able to parlay that into a professional basketball career overseas.

"I play for Aust right outside of Brussels, Belgium," Ruoff said. "We were in second place. I averaged about 10 points per game, the most minutes on the team and then in late November I tore my ACL."

It is the same injury that knocked Da'Sean Butler out of the 2010 Final Four. Because of that, Butler reached out to Ruoff to try and make the lengthy rehab process just a little bit better.

"I talked to him a little on facebook when he heard about my injury," Ruoff stated. "He has given me a little bit of advice in terms of what to expect. It's a tough injury because you feel healthy, but you can't do what you want to do. He's exactly right. I'm at nine weeks now and I feel like I want to play."

Ruoff is back in Morgantown to rehab his knee. He typically spends six days a week doing rehab with Randy Meador and lifting weights with men's basketball strength and conditioning coach Andy Kettler.

"As soon as the team told me I was allowed to rehab in the states, my first thought was to come back here," Ruoff said. "It's kind of like a trust and your confidence with the people you work with. Randy Meador was here all four years I was here. Andy Kettler was here when I was here. It's a trust factor and you know they are going to do everything they can for you."

Ruoff is nine weeks post-operation and finally seeing some positive signs in his rehab. He spends several hours doing different range of motion exercises to help build up the flexibility in his knee.

"The strength is coming along and the flexion and bending, it will get better and better. At the three month point I will be able to start a slight jog and get more intense with my rehab and that is when things will get a little more exciting."

The injury could not have happened in a worse year for Ruoff who is in the final year of his contract. He enjoys playing for his current team and is hoping to get the chance to re-sign with that team.

"It's my first big injury," Ruoff states. "I have never really got hurt like this. I don't know how trusting teams will be. The team I am with likes me and wants to bring me back to talk to me about my knee and see how my rehab is going. I like the fit, I like the coach. I would love to do that, but at the same time that is why you pay an agent."

One of the unexpected benefits of playing in his current city is having a couple of WVU fans sitting in the stands.

"It's that WVU family that you are in," Ruoff said with a smile."There is a Belgian guy over there named Tom. He is married to a West Virginia girl that he met here at school. They live over there now. He comes to the game decked out in West Virginia gear. He is always yelling the Mountaineer chant. All of these other European fans look at him like he is crazy. They don't understand what he is talking about, but personally it feels good."

Ruoff played the game hard. He was recruited by John Beilein, but played the final two seasons of his college career under Bob Huggins. Ruoff does not believe he would be playing professional basketball if he did not play for Huggins.

"I'm basically surviving off what Huggs taught me," Ruoff stated. "I don't know how well I would be doing if I didn't play for him. One of the biggest things I am happy to play for him is having an all-around knowledge of the game. Playing hard-nosed defense and making open shots is why I am getting paid."

Ruoff's experience playing for Huggins makes watching the current group of Mountaineers a difficult experience for former players like himself.

"When you care for Huggs like ex-players do, you are just dying for the young players to buy-in," Ruoff said. "You know that is what is missing. You just wish they would buy-in because as soon as they do that they win by 20 and you notice that. From my position, I am just begging for these guys to buy-in and listen to Huggs, he is a hall-of-fame coach and he has put plenty of guys in the league. Just listen to what he says and you will be fine."

Ruoff loved his four years playing in Morgantown. It was an enjoyable college career that included an NIT title and a Sweet 16. Those are experiences he said he would love to enjoy again,"I miss it so much. When I see the guys again and they run out, the tradition of the fans and the band, I miss it. I would give back all of the money I made the past three years just to play one more game."

Huggins would gladly take one more game with Ruoff on his roster. As much as both men would love for that to happen, it will not. Huggins will continue trying to find a way to get this young team to buy-in to his philosophies. Meanwhile, Ruoff will continue rehabbing his knee and hoping for a chance to continue his professional basketball career right where it was prior to his injury.

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