Mountaineers Seek Revenge Against Undermanned Cyclones
|Points Per Game||73.8||80.2|
|Field Goal %||44.1||43.4|
|Rebounds Per Game||36.7||38.3|
|Assists Per Game||13.9||15.3|
|Blocks Per Game||4.1||5.3|
|Steals Per Game||5.1||8.3|
Tip-Off: 6:00 pm Est
Location: Morgantown, WV. WVU Coliseum
The #21 West Virginia Mountaineers (20-8 9-6) host the Iowa State Cyclones (13-14 4-11) Saturday evening at 6:00 pm Est inside the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers fell to Iowa State in their first meeting at the Hilton Coliseum 93-77. Multiple West Virginia players were fighting the flu going into the game and senior starting guard Daxter Miles Jr didn’t travel with the team due to the illness.
The lopsided victory for the underperforming Cyclones, was arguably one of the worst performances for the Mountaineers this season and is the most points they have given up on the year. Iowa State shot 62.1% (36-58) from the field, 55.6% (10-18) from three-point range and got 43 of their 93 points came from the paint. It was evident the Mountaineers had no energy on either end if the floor.
The tables have turned the second time around. Iowa State hasn’t fallen to illness, but the injury bug has plagued the team.
Cyclone junior guard Nick Weiler-Babb (6’5” 205-lbs) didn’t play in the first game against the Mountaineers due to a knee injury and is still sidelined.
Senior Guard Donovan Jackson father recently past away and will be attending the funeral this weekend. He led all scorers in the first match-up with 25 points on 8-14 shooting from the field, 6-10 from behind the arc and 3-3 from the free throw line. He also had seven assists.
Sophomore Forward Solomon Young is out with a knee injury. He went 6-6 from the field and 2-3 from the charity stripe for 14 points and had 10 rebounds in the first meeting.
Senior Forward Hans Brase only played two minutes in the first game. He remains questionable heading into the game with a knee injury. If he can go, Hans hasn’t produced much on the season, appearing in 17 games and averaging 2.8 points and 4.1 rebounds on the season.
That leaves six players available to Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm.
Freshman guard Lindell Wigginton (6’2” 188-lbs) had 22 points and five assists in the first game. He is averaging 15.9 points per game on the year and 40.6% from three-point range. Lindell has been running point since Weiler-Babb’s injury.
Senior Forward Jeff Beverly (6’6” 242-lbs) played 10 minutes and scored five points versus the Mountaineers. He has averaged 16 minutes and 3.4 points in the last five games.
Junior Forward Zoran Talley Jr (6’7” 190-lbs) had seven points, five rebounds and four assists in the first meeting. He is averaging 6.8 points on the season but has averaged 10 points in the last five games including 15 points against Kansas.
Freshman Forward Cameron Lard (6’9” 225-lbs) has been producing all season long. He had a double-double against the Mountaineers, going 9-12 from the field for 18 points. He had 13 rebounds and sis of them were offensive. Lard has averaged 17.8 points and 9.8 rebounds the last five games.
Freshman guard Terrence Lewis (6’6” 198-lbs) played two minutes in the first meeting. He had six points in 12 minutes in his last game (TCU). Lewis has appeared in 23 games on the season but is only averaging 8.7 minutes and 2.7 points per game.
Sophomore guard Jakolby Long (6’4” 212-lbs) played 11 minutes, scored two points and had 3 assists against West Virginia. His role has been more significant has of late and he is a shooter. He is 9-17 form behind the arc on the season.
West Virginia forward Esa Ahmad got his first start of the season against Iowa State and had one of his better games of the season with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Jevon Carter led the Mountaineers with 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Sagaba Konate had 17 points, six rebounds and a block.
The matchup between Lard and Sags underneath will be fun to watch. Lard may have had the slight edge over Sags in the first game and it will be interesting to see how these two go up against each other in round two.
It looks like Cyclones guard Lindell Wigginton could have a long evening in Morgantown without much help in the backcourt. He will be going up against two veteran guards in Jevon Carter And Daxter Miles Jr on their home floor. Carter and Miles have played extremely well as of late and in the last two games, have a combined average of 31 points per game.
The West Virginia forwards should have a big game going up against all the inexperience they will face Saturday evening. Esa Ahmad, Lamont West, Wesley Harris and Teddy Allen all have potential in having a big game. If they play within the offense and don’t force things, they all could fill up the stat sheet.
The Mountaineers cannot overlook the Cyclones despite having two of their best players out and possibly only having six players available. Iowa State is having their worst season since 2011 when they finished the season 16-16 overall and 3-13 in the Big XII.
Since the loss to the Cyclones, West Virginia has won four out of their last six games and during that span, they have shot 47.6% (167-351) from the field, 42.2% (54-128) from three-point range and 85.6% (83-97) from the free throw line.
They way the Mountaineers have been playing over the last six games it doesn’t appear they are going to be overlooking anybody and looks like a team trying to silence their critics.