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5 Things to Know Before WVU vs. Missouri State



Seth Wilson WVU Missouri State

West Virginia begins a new era under interim HC Josh Eilert beginning on Monday as the Mountaineers host Missouri State. Let’s take a look at five things to know before the season opener.

Post-Huggins Era Begins

West Virginia looks to begin a new era this season, with Bob Huggins outside of the program for the first time in 16 years. Eilert has received his opportunity to lead the program. Eilert and his staff will make their case to WVU AD Wren Baker on why they should remain at West Virginia after this season.

WVU has a new-look team built through the transfer portal. Syracuse transfer Jesse Edwards and Arizona transfer Kerr Kriisa lead the way with one of the top transfer classes in the country. Edwards and Kriisa will have help from Quinn Slazinski (Iona transfer), Seth Wilson (returning) and others.

West Virginia could also have help from Georgetown transfer Akok Akok (health) and RaeQuan Battle (waiver) in the future.

WVU Already Short-Handed

West Virginia will have just eight scholarship players available on Monday as Kriisa, Battle and Akok are all ineligible to play.

Eilert ruled out forward Akok Akok last Thursday after his health scare against George Mason last week. Akok’s timetable to return to the floor is unknown. West Virginia will also be without Kerr Kriisa, who was suspended for nine games earlier in the week for receiving impermissible benefits while enrolled at Arizona.

WVU G RaeQuan Battle is also waiting on his waiver appeal decision from the NCAA. Battle’s initial waiver was denied in October but West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey helping the process by writing letters to NCAA President Charlie Baker. For now, Battle is ineligible to play this season.

WVU’s projected rotation for Missouri State:

1 – Kobe Johnson, Jeremiah Bembry

2 – Seth Wilson

3 – Josiah Harris, Ofri Naveh

4 – Quinn Slazinski, Patrick Suemnick

5 – Jesse Edwards, Ali Ragab

Defense Travels for Missouri State

Missouri State comes to Morgantown with the majority of their core returning from last season. The Bears are led by their top returning scorers Donovan Clay (F), Chance Moore (G) and Alston Mason (G).

The Bears were a top-30 defense, allowing just 63.2 points per game.

“They’re a good opponent from a very good conference. They won 17 games last year. Dana Ford has done a very good job with him,” Eilert said.

Betting Lines

The spread for the West Virginia-Missouri State game is WVU -4.5. The over/under is set at 135.5.

How to Watch

West Virginia and Missouri State will tip off at 7 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum on Monday. The Mountaineers and Bears will be on ESPN+.

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