#6 West Virginia Hosts #7 Oklahoma in a Big XII Showdown
|Points Per Game||95.8||84.2|
|Field Goal %||50.6||43.9|
|Rebounds Per Game||40.2||40.6|
|Assists Per Game||19.5||16.4|
|Blocks Per Game||5.6||5.1|
|Steals Per Game||7.4||10.5|
Tip-Off: 7:15 est
Location: Morgantown, WV. The Coliseum
Oklahoma top 25 wins – #25 USC, #3 Wichita State, #10 TCU
Oklahoma 109 vs Oklahoma State 89
West Virginia 85 vs Oklahoma State 79
The #6 West Virginia Mountaineers host the #7 Oklahoma Sooners, this Saturday at a sold out Coliseum.
The Mountaineers are 5-9 versus the Sooners all-time. Last season, both programs won on the others home floor. Oklahoma has won 3 of the last 5 games.
Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger, in his seventh year in Norman, is 134-78 as the Sooners head man and 59-51 in the Big XII. He may have the best player in college basketball for the second time in three years. Two years ago, it was Buddy Hield, now its freshman point guard Trae Young, leading his team as the number one scoring offense in the country.
Young is averaging a double-double on the season, 29.4 points and 10.6 assists per game (47.1% FG 40.2% 3PT). He has scored under 20 points in one game all year, and it was in the opening game of the season, against Omaha, scoring 15 points. His season high in scoring is 43 (USC).
Behind Young, there is a host of Sooners that are capable of having big games, starting with junior guard Christian James (6’4” 218-lbs). James is second on the team in scoring (13.0) and has put up 19 points twice this season.
Freshman forward Brady Manek (6’9” 215-lbs) has hit double digits in five of the last six games, averaging 16.6 points in that span, and had a season high 28 points on Wednesday night versus Oklahoma State.
Sophomore guard Kameron McGusty (6’5” 191-lbs) is averaging 15.2 points in the last five games, and is 6-10 from three-point range in the last two games.
Senior Forward Khadeem Lattin (6-9 212-lbs) averages 7.9 points per game and leads the team with rebounds at 7.3 per game. He is their best defensive player, and also their rim protector, averaging 1.9 blocks per game.
Five players will come off the bench for the Sooners:
Junior center Jamuni McNeace (6’10” 215-lbs) 6.7 ppg 5.2 rpg 1.9 bpg
Junior guard Rashard Odomes (6’6” 212-lbs) 5.4 ppg
Sophomore forward Matt Freeman (6’10” 224-lbs) 4.9 ppg
Sophomore guard Jordan Shepherd (6’2” 180-lbs) 4.5 ppg
Junior guard Ty Lazenby (6’5” 210-lbs) 0.8 ppg
Oklahoma runs a high screen offense, and they will look to play a two-man game at times, taking advantage of mismatches.
Kruger will look to get Young away from veteran guards Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. He will bring out his forwards to set screens, to try and get the mismatches out front for Young to find some space.
Young has incredible range. He can hit from about two dribbles in from midcourt. This should not be a problem for West Virginia since they play a full court pressure defense.
The Mountaineers need to watch when they trap, because along with Trae Young, the Sooners are deadly from behind the arc, hitting 40.5%.
West Virginia will not stop Trae Young, but they will contain him. He will start off hot, but the full court pressure and the physical play of Carter and Miles will start to wear him down.
All the talk about the Oklahoma offense and the West Virginia defense, but what’s being overlooked is how efficient the Mountaineer offense has become with Teddy Allen the last two games. He has averaged 18.5 points per game, in his first two Big XII games.
Lamont West has been the most consistent offensive player for the Mountaineers with a solid average of 12.6 points per game, and Daxter Miles has been ripping his opponents hearts out late in the second half with some clutch shots.
Jevon Carter will be ready to put up his offensive numbers, after suffering a sprained wrist last Saturday against Oklahoma State, I expect him to have a big game in this top 10 match-up.
As a team, the Mountaineers have shot 48.7% from the field the last 2 games.
West Virginia will win this game by playing their style of basketball we have seen all year. They will make the Sooners use the whole court for a full 40 minutes and be physical with them, wearing them down.
The Coliseum will be rocking, the players will be amped up, and they will get another top 10 win.
The Mountaineers win 84-75.