Connect with us

WVU Basketball

Bock: First Thoughts On The Release of WVU’s Basketball Schedule

Published

on

Taz Sherman takes the ball (Dale Sparks / WVU Athletics)

The Big 12 Conference released the men’s basketball schedule on Wednesday. This gives West Virginia their full schedule for the 2021-22 basketball season.

Here is the full schedule for the West Virginia men’s basketball team.

DateTeam
Nov. 9Oakland
Nov. 12Pitt
Nov. 18Elon (Shriners Children's Charleston Classic)
Nov. 19Shriners Children's Charleston Classic
Nov. 21Shriners Children's Charleston Classic
Nov. 26Eastern Kentucky
Nov. 30Bellarmine
Dec. 4 Radford
Dec. 8UCONN (Big East Battle)
Dec. 12Kent State
Dec. 18@ UAB
Dec. 22Youngstown State
Jan. 1@ Texas
Jan. 3@ TCU
Jan. 8Kansas State
Jan. 11Oklahoma State
Jan. 15@ Kansas
Jan. 18Baylor
Jan. 22@ Texas Tech
Jan. 26Oklahoma
Jan. 29 @ Arkansas (SEC Challenge)
Jan. 31@ Baylor
Feb. 5Texas Tech
Feb. 8Iowa State
Feb. 12@ Oklahoma State
Feb. 14@ Kansas State
Feb. 19Kansas
Feb. 23@ Iowa State
Feb. 26Texas
Mar. 1@ Oklahoma
Mar. 5TCU
Mar. 9-12Big 12 Conference Tournament

I’m here to give my initial thoughts on the schedule and what games the fans should look forward to.

In non-conference play, the Mountaineers early season games are highlighted by hosting old Big East foes Pitt and UCONN. While these are great games for the fans to get out to see familiar names, I wish WVU was tested more on the road early-on. The Mountaineers don’t have a true road game until Dec. 18 when they travel to Birmingham, Alabama, to take on Bob Huggins’ friend Andy Kennedy and his UAB squad.

The Mountaineers will travel to Charleston, South Carolina from Nov. 18-21 to compete in the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic. The rest of the field includes Boise State, Clemson, Elon, Marquette, Ole Miss, St. Bonaventure and Temple. WVU’s first round matchup has already been a date announced with Elon, with the winner taking on Marquette or Ole Miss. If the Mountaineers make it to the championship game, their toughest opponent on the other side of the field would be St. Bonaventure — the early Atlantic 10 favorites.

West Virginia’s non-conference schedule might look ‘weak’ to some people but there are a lot of mid-major teams that can give the Mountaineers a great game. Bellarmine, Eastern Kentucky and Kent State are just a few schools that recorded over .500 records in the 2020-21 season, with all three teams competing against high-talent.

Going forward to the conference schedule, what immediately sticks out to me is that the Mountaineers have a full week off during Christmas break, and then go right on the road to Texas to play the Longhorns and the Horned Frogs.

The Big 12 has changed immensely since the conclusion of the 2021 season, with four out of the 10 schools changing head coaches. West Virginia won’t have to see Lon Kruger, Shaka Smart and Steve Prohm two times a year anymore. They will have to still see Chris Beard twice, who left Texas Tech for Texas.

Coaches weren’t the only change in the conference, as players shifted teams especially due to the new transfer portal rules. Baylor’s deep team from last year lost their star players in Jared Butler, Mark Vital, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell, but Scott Drew brings back the rest of the depth that was on that great team as the Bears look to compete for another national championship. Kansas, Texas, West Virginia and Oklahoma also attacked the transfer portal, adding great players.

As of today, the Big 12 conference is Kansas, Baylor, Texas and everyone else. The rest of the conference lost so much and added to replace the losses that it’s hard to predict where each team will be. Looking at the schedule, it’s hard to tell where there are tough stretches.

I put out a tweet last night that shows the complexity of this part of WVU’s schedule.

To go to Lawrence, then host Baylor, travel to Texas Tech, then host a new-look Oklahoma team, then play an Elite-8 team in Arkansas and then travel to Waco, TX to play the Bears again? Yeah, this is the hardest stretch of the season. A lot of West Virginia’s schedule is spread out in regards to those powerhouse schools in the conference I mentioned before.

This might be good for the Mountaineers as they look to find their identity as they bring on seven new players to the program.

Welcome to the new home of WVU football and basketball breaking news, analysis and recruiting. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check us out on YouTube. And don't forget to subscribe for all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year with Blue Gold Sports — an USA Today credentialed outlet. He is from Cincinnati, OH.

Get WVSN in your mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to WVSN and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Sign up for the best in WVU sports!

Subscribe to WVSN today and get all of our posts directly in your inbox the second they're published.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend