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5 Things to Know Before WVU vs. No. 3 Houston



WVU Basketball Quinn Slazinski
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

WVU will open up Big 12 play on Saturday afternoon against No. 3 Houston. Let’s take a look at five things to know before the game.

Meet the Opponent: Houston

Houston enters the Big 12 for the first time sitting at 13-0. The Cougars have quality wins over Utah, Xavier and Texas A&M. Houston, under Kelvin Sampson, has always had elite defenses and once again this year is the case. UH has allowed just 49.4 points per game and only allows 84 points per 100 possessions, according to KenPom.

West Virginia will see a familiar face in LJ Cryer, who played at Baylor for three years. Cryer is averaging 16.9 points on 40% shooting from three during his first year with the Cougars.

Big 12 Play is Here

The Big 12 Conference slate begins on Saturday as the Mountaineers sit at 5-8. West Virginia has improved their play slightly as RaeQuan Battle, Noah Farrakhan and Kerr Kriisa returned to the floor. As the trio try to mesh with each other and the rest of the team, West Virginia is without Jesse Edwards (fractured wrist) for the next couple of weeks.

West Virginia now has three more offensive facilitators on offense to go with Quinn Slazinski, Kobe Johnson and the rest of the bench. Can WVU turn the season around in the Big 12 gauntlet?

Bock: How Does West Virginia Do in Big 12 Play with Little Room for Error?

Can WVU Fix the Rebounding?

West Virginia has struggled to out-rebound teams, even with Edwards. In the first half against Ohio State in Cleveland last weekend, the Buckeyes had 10 offensive rebounds within the first eight minutes. OSU also had more rebounds (19) than their points and WVU’s, at the time.

WVU was able to fix their rebounding issues during the second half as they played two-three defense. Ohio State won the rebounding battle by only one. West Virginia had a team effort on the boards with Battle (10), Slazinski (8), Josiah Harris (7) and Pat Suemnick (5) leading the way.

Houston is averaging 41.2 rebounds per game, which ranks 29th in the country.

Betting Lines

The spread for the WVU-Houston game is currently -20.5 UH. The over/under is set at 131.5

How to Watch

West Virginia and Houston will tip off at 2 p.m. inside the Fertitta Center on Saturday. The Mountaineers and Cougars will be on ESPN+.

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