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Morgantown, West Virginia – Best Virginia, the West Virginia alumni team, plays its first exhibition game tonight in Beckley, West Virginia.

Best Virginia will compete this summer (July 16 – August 3) in The Basketball Tournament, a single elimination tournament featuring alumni teams from around the country.  The winner will receive a grand prize of $1 million dollars.

Best Virginia is absolutely loaded this year and has a real chance to win the entire tournament.  The team features former West Virginia greats Sagaba Konate, Kevin Jones, John Flowers, Nathan Adrian, Juwan Staten, Jaysean Paige, Tarik Phillip, Chase Harler, Jonathan Holton, Logan Routt and Teyvon Myers.

Current WVU Tech Head Coach and former Mountaineers guard James Long is the head coach for Best Virginia, with West Virginia legend Da’Sean Butler and current Morgantown High School Head Coach Dave Tallman serving as assistant coaches.

Best Virginia’s players are aging and perhaps not as productive as they once were, but most of the players on the roster has remained active playing professional basketball overseas.

With that said, could West Virginia’s current roster defeat the legends of Best Virginia?

West Virginia’s roster is also loaded with talent featuring returning players Jalen Bridges, Taz Sherman, Sean McNeil, Gabe Osabuohien, Isaiah Cottrell, Kedrian Johnson, Taj Thweatt, Seny N’Diaye and newcomers Malik Curry, Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson, Pauly Paulicap, Dimon Carrigan and Jamel King.

Let’s assume West Virginia’s current coaching staff would also coach the team in this fictitious game, so the current team would have the experience of Bob Huggins and staff on their bench.

The projected starting lineups would look like this:

Best Virginia

PG Juwan Staten

SG Jaysean Paige

SF Nathan Adrian

PF Kevin Jones

C Sagaba Konate

Current Team 

PG Malik Curry

SG Sean McNeil

SF Taz Sherman

PF Gabe Osabuohien/Pauly Paulicap

C Isaiah Cottrell

While the current team is undoubtedly a superior shooting team, Best Virginia’s experience and physicality would almost certainly overwhelm the 2021-2022 team.  Best Virginia is bigger, stronger, more experienced and they are better defenders.

In a best of five game series, the current Mountaineers might win a game, but ultimately Best Virginia would simply be too much in a one game, two 20 minute half exhibition.

Score Prediction: 

Best Virginia 71 2021-2022 Mountaineers 56

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