West Virginia hosts No. 3 Kansas on Saturday in Morgantown as they look to win their first game in Big 12 play. Let’s take a look at five things to know before the game.
Meet the Opponent: Kansas
Kansas comes to West Virginia with a 2-0 record in league play (13-1 overall) and No. 3 in the country. The Jayhawks have notable wins over Duke, NC State, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana and others. KU’s two wins in Big 12 play only have a win differential of +5 as they defeated Oklahoma State by two and Texas Tech by three.
The defending national champions retooled their roster in the offseason. Bill Self added one of the best recruiting classes in the country highlighted by Gradey Dick. Jayhawks returned Jalen Wilson, who has taken that needed leap into the No. 1 option; KJ Adams and DaJuan Harris. Kansas added one notable transfer from the portal, Kevin McCullar from Texas Tech.
Kansas has big guards that can shoot the ball. How will WVU be able to answer?
Kedrian Johnson Out with Concussion
WVU head coach Bob Huggins announced on his radio show Thursday night that WVU G Kedrian Johnson will miss the Kansas game with a concussion. Huggins says Johnson sustained the injury during the Oklahoma State game.
Huggins said that the team will run with Joe Toussaint, Kobe Johnson and possibly Josiah Davis at the point guard position.
Johnson is in his third year with West Virginia, second season starting. The Dallas native is averaging 9.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists through 14 games so far.
Must-Win for WVU
It goes without saying that every game in the Big 12 is a must-win game. Especially this year as it appears every team has had no guaranteed victory. But for West Virginia on Saturday, it is an absolute must-win as they host No. 3 Kansas at the coliseum.
WVU has put themselves in this situation after not finishing out both road games against Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Now their backs are against the wall facing a top-3 team in the country.
There is optimism for West Virginia. WVU is 6-3 against Kansas in Morgantown since 2014. The WVU Coliseum has not been friendly to a Kansas program that handles business well on the road. The Jayhawks also have squeaked out two conference victories over Oklahoma State (69-67) and Texas Tech (75-72).
West Virginia just cannot be 0-3 heading into the Baylor game next Wednesday.
The spread for the West Virginia-Kansas game is KU -1.0. The over/under is set at 145.5.
Where to Watch
West Virginia and Kansas will tip off at 6 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum on Saturday. ESPN+ will carry the broadcast.
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