West Virginia will host Jacksonville State to complete their three-game home stand before heading to Florida for the Fort Myers Invitational next week. Let’s take a look at five things to know before the game.
Meet the Opponent: Jacksonville State
Jacksonville State went 1-1 during the first week of the season, defeating Brescia (91-41) and falling to Utah Tech (81-79 OT). JSU is led by Xavier transfer guard Kyky Tandy, who has averaged 16.0 points over the first two games. Tandy is a 6-foot-2 guard who has a similar build to Monmouth G Xander Rice, who torched the Mountaineer defense for 30 points on 50% shooting.
Tandy has scoring help from Quincy Clark (G), Caleb Johnson (F) and Marcellus Brigham (F).
Jacksonville State doesn’t take many three-point attempts but does a great job driving in the lane and getting to the free throw line.
WVU Has to Bounce Back from Monmouth Loss
West Virginia received an eventual quad-4 loss on Friday to Monmouth as the Hawks played a complete game. WVU struggled to beat Monmouth’s 2-3 defense as Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson and Josiah Harris combined for 8-of-34 (24%) shooting from the field.
The Mountaineers still have SMU, Virginia/Wisconsin, St. John’s and Pitt on their schedule before Kerr Kriisa comes back from his suspension in mid-December. Luckily for WVU, the Monmouth loss comes during the second game of the season. By March, if West Virginia has turned it around, the tournament committee will not consider the Monmouth game as much as they could. But if West Virginia continues a pattern losing buy games, it’ll be tough for them to recover as Big 12 play comes along.
Offense Needs to Run Through Edwards
According to KenPom, Edwards is used in 15-20% of possessions. Quinn Slazinski, Wilson and Johnson are used over 20% of possessions and are ahead of Edwards. Edwards is averaging 14.5 points and 13.0 rebounds on just nine shot attempts per game. If West Virginia can get Edwards the ball to collapse the defense, he can either take his defender at the rim or pass it out to a shooter on the perimeter.
WVU forward Slazinski mentioned that this team needs to run through Edwards.
“Jesse is the man, he’s big ticket,” Slazinski said following the Monmouth loss.
The spread for the WVU-Jacksonville State game is currently West Virginia -7.5. The over/under is set at 135.5.
How to Watch
West Virginia and Jacksonville State will tip off at 7 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum on Tuesday. The Mountaineers and Gamecocks will be on ESPN+.
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