Morgantown, West Virginia – The 14th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers (9-4 overall and 2-3 in the Big 12 Conference) are back in action after an almost two-week layoff following the devastating loss against Texas at the Coliseum back on January 9th.
The Mountaineers travel tomorrow to play the Kansas State Wildcats, who are currently 5-10 overall and 1-6 in conference play, and have lost their last final five games. Their lone conference win was on December 15th against the worst team in the Big 12 Conference, Iowa State.
With that said, Bob Huggins thinks this Kansas State team has tremendous potential: “I think they have the best young group in the league. I think they get better and better with each game they play. They did a great job recruiting. These guys are good and talented.”
Kansas State is led by senior guard Mike McGuirl, who averages 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, but is only shooting 36.8% from the field. Sophomore guard DaJuan Gordon averages 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds, and freshman guard Nigel Pack averages 10.7 points and 3.6 assists.
The Wildcats’ best big man is Kaosi Ezeagu, a sophomore forward who Derek Culver should have no problem manhandling under the basket. 7’0 freshman Davion Bradford rounds out the starting five for Kansas State. He’s big and inexperienced, and is currently only averaging 3.9 rebounds per game. Derek Culver should have an absolute field day against Ezeagu and Bradford tomorrow.
Although the Mountaineers have not played particularly well on the road this season, this is a game that should easily be won if West Virginia isn’t rusty after a long lay off. In addition, Bob Huggins said yesterday that he’s not even sure how many players he’ll have for the game tomorrow.
Huggins said the following in his Zoom conference with the media: “The guys that are available obviously got a lot of shots in and some conditioning. The guys that are available are guys that watch a lot of film anyway. They watch film regardless of their status. But I honestly don’t know how the lay off will affect us. I really don’t.”
While there is a lot of uncertainty facing the Mountaineers, this is perfect team to return to action against. Look for West Virginia to win by double digits on the road tomorrow.