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West Virginia hits the road to take on Texas

Team Stats

(8-5, 0-1)

(9-4, 1-0)

Points Per Game 77.8 73.5
Points Against 72.4 64.5
Field Goal % 42.5 42.9
Rebounds Per Game 42.6 37.3
Assists Per Game 14.3 14.3
Blocks Per Game 4.9 4.7
Steals Per Game 5.5 6.6
Streak L1 W2

 

 

Time: 9:00 pm est

TV: ESPN2

Location: Austin, TX (Erwin Center)

Announcers: Lowell Galindo and Robbie Hummel

 

 

This will be the 18th meeting between the West Virginia Mountaineers (8-5, 0-1) and the Texas Longhorns. Texas leads the all-time series 9-8. WVU had won four-straight over the Longhorns prior to dropping last year’s overtime match-up 87-79 in Austin.

The Longhorns started off hot and got the nation’s attention starting the season 5-0, including a win over No. 7 North Carolina in the semifinals of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational before they lost to Michigan State in the championship game.  Texas went on to lose its next two contests (Radford and VCU), then won the last four out of five as well as winning their Big 12 opener at Kansas State. In the win at Manhattan, Texas was 9-11 from behind the arc in the second half.

Texas head coach Shaka Smart has nine players that sees significant playing time, three of which are freshmen (G Courtney Ramey, F Kamaka Hepa, F Jaxson Hayes).

 

Texas Statistics
Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
Kerwin Roach II 11 29.9 13.6 4.7 4.0 1.5 0.4 1.6 .411 .697 .344
Matt Coleman III 13 30.7 10.0 1.5 3.3 0.8 0.2 1.8 .386 .706 .327
Jaxson Hayes 13 21.1 9.8 5.2 0.3 0.5 2.4 0.9 .754 .632 .000
Dylan Osetkowski 13 27.5 9.8 8.3 1.0 1.3 0.5 1.8 .393 .675 .293
Jase Febres 13 22.2 8.3 2.8 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.4 .420 .667 .406
Elijah Mitrou-Long 13 22.3 7.8 3.5 2.5 1.5 0.1 1.5 .357 .577 .320
Courtney Ramey 13 19.3 6.2 2.5 3.1 0.5 0.0 1.7 .397 .619 .341
Jericho Sims 13 17.5 5.4 3.8 0.2 0.2 0.6 1.4 .574 .640 .000
Royce Hamm Jr. 5 7.8 4.8 3.0 0.0 0.2 0.6 0.2 .615 .727 .000
Kamaka Hepa 13 10.8 2.3 1.8 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.0 .243 1.000 .286
Andrew Jones 2 5.5 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.5 .000 .750 .000
Drayton Whiteside 3 0.7 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.000 .000 1.000
Blake Nevins 3 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 .000 .500 .000
Gerald Liddell 4 3.5 0.0 1.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.5 .000 .000 .000
Totals 13 74 37 14 7 5 12 .429 .664 .335

 

West Virginia has struggled to find their identity thus far. It’s partially due to all the injuries this team has endured since heading into pre-season. Two are substantial contributors in Beetle Bolden and Sagaba Konate. Beetle has been playing through a thumb and elbow injury while Sags hasn’t been able to stay on the court with an unspecified knee injury and hasn’t seen any action since the win over Pitt on December 8th.

Freshman Derek Culver has been a force in the middle and has emerged as a “go-to-guy” on the offensive end. In the last two games, he has averaged 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds.

Wesley Harris has elevated his game to another level this year. He set back-to-back career highs before having his worst shooting performance of the season in a Big 12 opening loss to No. 11 Texas Tech.

The future has looked bleak at times for the Mountaineers, but team continuity has seemingly been better that last two games. The offense has seen some improvement. However, its been on the defensive end that has seen the biggest strides. WVU held a Texas Tech that came into the game shooting 49.3% from the field to just under 39% Wednesday night.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has had a theme in nearly every post-game press conference this season. He has been criticizing the team’s commitment to improve and he’s supplied some epic rants, but he might have had his best metaphor since coming to Morgantown. He’s stated that no one has been putting extra time in and compared having a girlfriend is like the game of basketball.

“Basketball is kind of like a girlfriend. If you don’t pay attention to her, she’s probably going to drift off on you.” Said Huggins. “Basketball is something you got to love. You got to love you got to be committed to, you got to spend time with and when you don’t do that basketball gets mad just like your girlfriend would.”

The frustration for Huggins has boiled over and the Mountaineers starting lineup is going to have a wrinkle in it Saturday night.

“We are going to start a walk-on (Taevon Horton) against Texas, because he was the only guy in the gym before practice.” Explained Huggins.

 

West Virginia Statistics
Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
Sagaba Konate 8 24.1 13.6 8.0 1.4 0.8 2.8 2.1 .435 .813 .391
Esa Ahmad 13 27.4 13.6 5.7 2.0 0.9 0.6 2.9 .465 .685 .226
Lamont West 13 23.1 11.6 4.8 1.0 0.4 0.5 1.2 .417 .818 .347
James Bolden 11 21.1 11.3 3.2 3.1 1.2 0.2 2.6 .410 .742 .352
Wesley Harris 12 25.9 9.1 5.5 1.1 0.5 0.6 1.4 .436 .634 .385
Derek Culver 3 19.0 9.0 6.7 1.0 0.0 0.7 1.3 .643 .563 .000
Chase Harler 13 25.8 5.8 1.0 1.4 0.4 0.5 0.6 .385 .692 .364
Brandon Knapper 13 13.8 4.9 2.1 2.0 0.3 0.0 2.0 .380 .789 .379
Logan Routt 13 10.5 3.4 3.1 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.5 .486 .476 .000
Jermaine Haley 13 16.1 2.8 3.1 1.2 0.8 0.0 1.3 .429 .647 .143
Jordan McCabe 12 9.3 2.8 1.1 1.3 0.2 0.0 0.8 .257 .700 .364
Emmitt Matthews Jr. 11 10.5 2.6 2.1 0.5 0.3 0.1 0.3 .375 .647 .000
Andrew Gordon 13 6.2 2.5 1.7 0.1 0.2 0.3 1.1 .542 .462 .000
Taevon Horton 3 2.3 0.3 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 .000 .500 .000
Totals 13 78 43 14 6 5 16 .425 .688 .336

 

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