MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As the Mountaineers are coming off of their trip to Charleston, South Carolina, let’s take a look at five things to know before the game against Eastern Kentucky on Friday.
“Just Win, Baby. Just Win.”
On Tuesday, WVU head coach Bob Huggins spoke with the media and was asked about how he is managing what lineups work best, and what doesn’t work.
Huggins went on to quote the Oakland Raiders General Manager and Owner Al Davis.
“What did Al Davis say? Just win, baby. Just win,” Huggins said.
Huggins has ran a bunch of different lineups out there in the first five games of the season. The Mountaineers will come into Friday’s game at 4-1, beating notably Pitt and Clemson.
The coaching staff looks to figure out what works best, which is to just win.
Meet the Opponent
This will be the third time since Huggins took over at West Virginia that the Colonels will come to Morgantown. West Virginia leads the all-time series 2-1.
Eastern Kentucky’s win came in 1979, winning, 93-91.
This year’s Colonels team is a very deep, fast paced team that can really shoot the three ball. EKU has 10 players that average over 13 minutes per game. Once a player goes into foul trouble, another comes off the bench. They have true depth, just like WVU.
EKU’s only notable win was a victory over Milwaukee (77-71) of the Horizon League but they will come into the game against the Mountaineers with a 5-1 record.
Eastern Kentucky ranks third int he country in tempo, according to Kenpom, averaging 75.0 possessions per 40 minutes. EKU also ranks first in the country in three-point attempts per game, with 35.0, making 12.8 per game.
“They’re going to press and shoot a bunch of threes,” Huggins said. “A.W. [Hamilton] does a great job of the way they play, they want to play fast.”
Opportunity For A Great Win Over A Mid-Major
This home game for the Mountaineers won’t be any sign of a cakewalk. With all of the things that the Mountaineers are going to have to worry about — depth, defense perimeter and pacing — the Colonels could very well give WVU a game, on Friday.
If the Mountaineers are able to handle EKU, this will be a great win over a team that could win their conference and appear in the NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers already have a great mid-major win over Oakland and could keep adding good wins to their resume.
West Virginia is favored by -16 points against Eastern Kentucky.
The WVU money line is set at -1200.
It would not be a great day to bet for West Virginia. EKU is too streaky of a team, shooting the ball from three at a great level. If Eastern Kentucky knocks down their shots, WVU will not cover the spread. The Colonels shoot 35 threes a game, which is the most in all of college basketball.
It’s probably safe to stay away from betting on this game.
How to Watch and Listen
You can watch West Virginia take on Eastern Kentucky on Friday, at 7 p.m., on ESPN+. The non-conference matchup between the Mountaineers and the Colonels will take place inside the WVU Coliseum.
Mountaineer Sports Network will broadcast the game on the radio, with Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs once again calling WVU games for the entirety of this season.
(Top Photo: Kelsie LeRose – WVSN)