WVU Basketball: Three Game Breakdown Part One


West Virginia basketball is tied for first place in the Big 12, with the potential to win the conference.

First off, the Mountaineers must be on point the rest of the season if they want a chance to win the rest of their regular season games. There isn’t room for mental mistakes and off nights. West Virginia dominated a bottom feeder in TCU last Saturday just like they should have, and they must not lose that confidence.

We will break down the next six games over a two part series starting with tomorrow’s matchup up against the Texas Longhorns.

West Virginia is 3-5 against the Longhorns since joining the Big 12 Conference, including an ugly loss earlier this season in Morgantown. The Mountaineers shot an abysmal 8 of 23 from the free throw line, and an even worse 3 of 21 from beyond the arc. Although the Mountaineers had a decent defensive game, they didn’t create turnovers. The only concern is the length of the Longhorns which gives WVU fits. However, the Mountaineers had a really off night against Texas earlier in the season, if they can play just a little bit better they will find the win.

After Texas, the Mountaineers will get a shot at revenge against the Oklahoma Sooners. Oklahoma was able to scrape out a last second win in Norman, beating WVU 70-68. The last matchup showed a true battle of the titans, positioning themselves in Big 12 play. West Virginia undoubtedly played a great game, but still left a little on the court. Although better than the Texas game, WVU still found themselves shooting under 60% from the free throw line. On top of poor free throws, the Mountaineers pride themselves on turning teams over. West Virginia managed to turn Oklahoma over 18 times, but committed 16 of their own. If West Virginia can protect the ball, and knock down a few more free throws the Mountaineers should find another win. The crowd will be electric and that will help propel WVU to glory.

The Mountaineers were able to get out of Ames with a win, knocking down Iowa State in what looked like an early loss. The best part about that game wasn’t the fact they won in an unwinnable place, it’s that they did it without Jonathan Holton. Luckily, Holton is back and WVU has a good opportunity to sweep the Cyclones. Devin Williams had a double-double, while Jaysean Paige dropped 23 points on ISU. While it is a team effort, those two definitely propelled the Mountaineers to the win. West Virginia should find similar success with the addition of Holton along with playing at home. All WVU has to do is start faster than what they did in Ames, and the Mountaineers should find a rather easy victory.

Come back next week for part two of the series where we will breakdown the final three games of the season for the Mountaineers. West Virginia will travel to Austin to take on the Longhorns Tuesday at 7pm on ESPN2.