Lubbock, Texas – The 14th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers, 13-5 and 6-3 in the Big 12 Conference, will leave Lubbock, Texas with a huge upset win over the #7 Texas Tech Red Raiders (14-5, 6-4).
The Mountaineers are hitting their stride at just the right time – at the start of a brutal stretch in February – and they are playing tougher, better defense since Bob Huggins referred to this team as “the worst defensive team I’ve ever coached.”
Huggins believes his team will be ready for the big conference matchup tonight: “I think we’re better defensively that we were the first game against them.”
West Virginia narrowly defeated Texas Tech on January 25th inside the WVU Coliseum, despite Tech’s junior guard Mac McClung putting up 30 points.
Huggins referred to games against Texas Tech as “rock fights” and said that the Mountaineers will have to make shots in order to win.
“They’re going to fortify the paint and not give up easy baskets,” Huggins said. “They are going to try to make you take your shots on the perimeter and really pick out who they want to shoot those shots.”
With that said, Derek Culver should have a monster game against an undersized Texas Tech team that does not have any players over 6’7 in the starting lineup.
In addition, new duo Miles McBride and Taz Sherman could be one of the deadliest backcourts in the Big 12 Conference.
If the Mountaineers make shots and play with the same heart and passion on defense that they played in their win against Kansas three days ago – and I believe they will – , they will score a massive road win tonight.
West Virginia Projected Lineup:
G Miles McBride – 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.9 steals
G Taz Sherman – 13.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists
F Emmitt Matthews – 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists
F Jalen Bridges – 4.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.1 assists
F Derek Culver – 14.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Texas Tech Projected Lineup:
G Mac McClung – 17.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists
G Terrence Shannon Jr. – 13.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists
G Kyler Edwards – 9.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists
F Marcus Santos-Silva – 8.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists
F Micah Peavy – 5.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists