On Tuesday night, West Virginia will host Oakland in the 2021-22 season opener, beginning at 7 p.m.
Here’s five things to know before tip-off in Morgantown.
This will be a High-scoring Game
It’s pretty evident that West Virginia will be a scoring-first team this season. Despite losing two double-digit scorers, WVU brings back Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil, who are set to lead the offense this season. Other notable offensive players that will take a bigger role are Jalen Bridges (5.9 ppg), Isaiah Cottrell (1.6 ppg) and Malik Curry (15.7 ppg at Old Dominion). It’s safe to say that the Mountaineers will be scoring into the 80s this season if they’re having a great shooting night.
Oakland, as a team, averaged 74.7 points, while allowing 81.2 per contest. Head coach Greg Kampe’s offense is a lot of isolation play, so expect a lot of baskets on Tuesday night.
Kedrian Johnson is 100 Percent to go
In the exhibition game against Akron on Oct. 29, starting guard Kedrian “Keddy” Johnson left the game late in the first half after getting hit above the eye.
Keddy Johnson heading into the locker room after getting hit in the face#WVU
— Ethan Bock (@ethanbock_) October 29, 2021
Johnson returned in the second half against the Zips with a bandage above his eye. WVU head coach Bob Huggins said that Johnson is 100 percent ready to go against Oakland on Tuesday night. Huggins mentioned that Johnson has also been dealing with a left-hand injury during practice over the last few weeks.
“Keddy is a tough kid,” Huggins said on Monday.
Taz Sherman Will Take Over Play-calling Duties
One of the notable things that was discovered against Akron was that this offense will thrive when Taz Sherman is in the game. When Sherman is on the bench, this offense may struggle.
After losing Miles McBride to the NBA draft, it appeared as Johnson or Curry would be the No. 1 options to run the plays on offense. Against Akron, Sherman took up the ball a lot of times and started the sets. Sherman finished the exhibition game with 29 points in 22 minutes, on 10-of-14 shooting from the field.
Betting Lines For the Game
On Monday, the betting line was released for WVU and Oakland.
The line is set for West Virginia (-17.5), with the money line set at -110.
Seems like a fair bet for a Big 12 school against a Horizon League but the Mountaineers’ defense may be too questionable to take some bets this season.
How to Watch / Listen
You can watch West Virginia take on Oakland on Tuesday, at 7 p.m., on ESPN+.
Mountaineer Sports Network will broadcast the game on the radio, with Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs, once again calling WVU games this season.
Tickets for Oakland are still available at WVUGame.com.
(Top Photo: Kelsie LeRose – WVSN)