Mountaineers Face Gators in Jimmy V Classic
|Points Per Game||71.7||86.4|
|Field Goal %||46.3||45.9|
|Rebounds Per Game||34.0||42.3|
|Assists Per Game||14.1||16.7|
|Blocks Per Game||4.0||5.3|
|Steals Per Game||9.0||5.9|
|Keith Stone||F||6-8||253||R-Junior||6.4 pts / 4.6 reb|
|Kevarrius Hayes||F||6-9||227||Senior||7.6 pts / 6.0 reb|
|Noah Locke||G||6-3||205||Freshman||8.3 pts / 1.0 reb|
|KeVaughn Allen||G||6-2||193||Senior||8.7 pts / 2.1 reb|
|Andrew Nembhard||PG||6-5||191||Freshman||7.3 pts / 3.0 reb / 6.6 ast|
|West Virginia||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Class||Per Game|
|Esa Ahmad||F||6-8||225||Senior||16.6 pts / 5.4 reb|
|Sagaba Konate||F||6-8||250||Junior||14.8 pts / 8.2 reb / 2.3 blk|
|Lamont West||F||6-8||222||Junior||14.5 pts / 5.3 reb|
|James Bolden||G||6-0||175||Junior||13.4 pts / 3.4 reb / 3.4 ast|
|Chase Harler||G||6-3||210||Junior||6.9 pts / 1.4 reb|
The West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2) take on the Florida Gators (4-3) in the nightcap of the Jimmy V classic inside Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. West Virginia is 3-5 all-time against Florida, and the Gators have won the last two meetings in the series by an average margin of 15 points.
This will be the Mountaineers first match-up against a power five school this season. The Gators have played three power five schools and are 1-2 (L @ Florida State 81-60, L Oklahoma 65-60, W Stanford 72-49).
Much like West Virginia, Florida is replacing two starting guards from a year ago in point guard Chris Chiozza and shooting guard Egor Koulechov.
Highly touted incoming Freshman Andrew Nembhard has taken over point guard and has 36 assists to just four turnovers on the season.
Guard Deaundrae Ballard leads the team in scoring (10.9) and has averaged 15 points in the last three games.
This season, 2017-18 leading scorer Jalen Hudson (15.5) has been coming off the bench the last few games. The guard scored 15 points in the opening game of the against LaSalle; however, he has been averaging three points per game since the opener. The Gators brought in forward Keith Stone to add energy to the floor.
It’s going to be the battle of inexperience guards trying to find their way early in the season. West Virginia’s starting point guard Beetle Bolden is a little more seasoned, but nagging injuries have held him back early in the season. Guard Chase Harler has been picking his spots along the perimeter; however, adding some aggressiveness to his style of play has opened up some opportunities.
The biggest difference thus far has been on the defensive end for the Mountaineers. The Press Virginia style hasn’t been part of West Virginia’s repertoire this season. This is partly due to seven newcomers and injuries that have plagued the team since the off-season that have reduced much valued practice time.
To make up the difference in possessions, WVU must start rebounding the ball at a higher level. It will be a tough test against a long athletic Gator team, but Florida hasn’t been great on the boards early in the season.
Forcing the Gators to take tough shots and keeping them off the offensive glass will be a recipe of success. Through seven games, Florida has been out-rebounded in four of them and the Gators are 1-3 in those games. Their lone win came against Charleston Southern.
If the Mountaineers have out-rebound the Gators by eight or more, West Virginia will get the win.
|West Virginia Mountaineers Statistics|
|Emmitt Matthews Jr.||5||14.0||4.6||2.6||0.8||0.2||0.2||0.2||.412||.692||.000|
|Florida Gators Statistics|