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5 Things to Know Before WVU vs. Pitt



WVU Pitt
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

West Virginia will host Pitt in the 190th edition of the Backyard Brawl on Wednesday. Let’s take a look at five things to know.

Meet the Opponent: Pitt

Pitt enters the Backyard Brawl on a two-game losing streak while sitting at 5-3. The Panthers are under HC Jeff Capel as the Panthers look to return to the NCAA Tournament again this season. Leading scorer Blake Hinson returned for his fifth year of college basketball while the coaching staff added a solid transfer class including Ishmael Leggett and Zack Austin.

Pitt has defeated NC A&T, Binghamton, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville and Oregon State. After starting 4-0, the Panthers fell to Florida in Brooklyn, and now are on a two-game losing streak after Missouri and Clemson defeated them at home since the New York trip.

Eilert Hopes Slow Start is Rock Bottom

WVU interim HC Josh Eilert commented on the Mountaineers’ early struggles this season. West Virginia is 3-4 with a first NET ranking of 209 in the country.

“3-4 doesn’t sit right with me whatsoever, doesn’t sit right with [the players], doesn’t sit right with our staff,” Eilert said on Tuesday prior to the Backyard Brawl. “Our NET ranking doesn’t sit well but it is what it is right now.”

Eilert made his team aware of the NET ranking, which is last in the Big 12. West Virginia has early season losses to Monmouth, SMU, Virginia and St. John’s as they are short-handed without transfers Kerr Kriisa (suspension), RaeQuan Battle (waiver) and Akok Akok (health). Eilert is trying to make sure this is the worst it can possibly be this season.

“Like I told them, take a hard look at that board up there. It has our NET rating, everybody else, who we’ve lost to, who we’ve beat and who we got coming up,” Eilert said. “Look at that number. I said that needs to be rock bottom for us. It really needs to be rock bottom.”

WVU’s Josh Eilert on Early Struggles: ‘That Needs to Be Rock Bottom’

WVU to Reveal New Black Uniforms

WVU plans on revealing their new black uniforms prior to the Pitt game.

West Virginia has not worn black in basketball since the early-2010s. The infamous uniforms are mostly remembered for the 2010 run to the Final Four. That team’s leading scorer, Da’Sean Butler, is currently an assistant for the Mountaineers.

Betting Lines

The spread for the WVU-Pitt game is currently Pitt -4.5. The over/under is set at 138.5.

How to Watch

West Virginia and Pitt will tip off at 9 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum on Wednesday. The Mountaineers and Panthers will be on ESPN2.

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