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5 Things to Know Before WVU vs. Florida



Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

West Virginia and Florida will play on Sunday night for fifth place in the Phil Knight Legacy bracket, let’s take a look at five things to know before the game.

West Virginia Needs to Fix Turnover Issue

West Virginia’s biggest issue this season has been turnovers. WVU head coach Bob Huggins has expressed his discern for his team’s lack of taking care of the ball since the summer. WVU has committed 77 turnovers in six games. The issue Huggins and his staff have with that number is the amount of unforced turnovers their team commit. If West Virginia can limit the turnovers as the season goes on, they’ll be tough to beat.

Huggins Confident Once Matthews, Mitchell are 100 Percent

This week, WVU forwards Emmitt Matthews and Tre Mitchell have been dealing with a stomach bug. As of Friday, Huggins said the team is feeling better but he’ll be more confident once Matthews and Mitchell are back to 100 percent.

“I would just like to get them well. If we can get them back to 100 percent, I feel a whole lot better,” Huggins said postgame on Friday night.

Against Portland State in the second round of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament, Matthews and Mitchell looked a lot better than against Purdue. Mitchell led the team in scoring with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. The senior from Pittsburgh just played in 19 minutes in the first round due to being in foul trouble. Mitchell tallied 34 minutes for the Mountaineers on Friday.

Matthews recorded 14 points and four assists against the Vikings. In the same game, Matthews recorded his 1,000th point in college basketball. Matthews just looked more alive against Portland State.

Meet the Opponent: Florida

During the offseason, Florida hired former San Francisco coach Todd Golden to replace Mike White. Golden recruited the transfer portal well bringing in Will Richard (Belmont), Kyle Lofton (St. Bonaventure) and Adam Fudge (LSU). Pair that around with returning two-time All-SEC recipient Colin Castleton and you have a solid core. The Gators were upset last week by Florida Atlantic.

Florida lost to Xavier in the first round before beating Oregon State to advance to the fifth place game.

Betting Lines

The spread for the West Virginia-Florida game is -1.5 Florida. The over/under is set at 146.0. The line opened up with West Virginia being favored by one point.

Where to Watch

West Virginia and Florida will tip off at 8:30 p.m. est inside the Chiles Center in Portland on Sunday. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU.

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