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Previewing WVU Men’s Basketball’s Newly Announced Non-Conference Opponents



Pittsburgh Sports Now File Photo

Yesterday, West Virginia men’s basketball announced four non-conference home games for this upcoming season.

Those games – against Youngstown State, Robert Morris, Richmond and Buffalo – were the final yet-to-be-announced games on the Mountaineers’ 2020-21 schedule. There had been a report that WVU would host Richmond this season, but Tuesday’s announcement made it official.

A couple of weeks ago, WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins told reporters that he was disappointed the team had to scrap its original 2020-21 schedule as he was pleased with how it turned out. These four new games, however, will all be against teams that finished last season with winning records, three of them topping 20 wins.

Dec. 2 vs Youngstown State

West Virginia will play YSU for the third straight season in WVU’s home opener on Dec. 2. This will be the third and final game of a three-game agreement between the two programs.

The Mountaineers have handled the Penguins with relative ease the past two seasons, winning 106-72 in 2019 and 75-64 last season. Youngstown native, Derek Culver, had 15 points and seven rebounds in his hometown return last season.

The Penguins finished 2019-20 with an 18-15 record, 10-8 in the Horizon League. They lost three of their final five regular-season games before defeating Milwaukee in the first round of the Horizon League Championship. They went on to lose to University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the second round.

YSU’s top returner is junior guard Darius Quisenberry, who averaged 16.6 points, 4.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game last season. He scored 22 points as the Penguins’ leading scorer against WVU last season.

Dec. 9 vs Robert Morris

The Mountaineers and Colonials will meet for just the second time in the last 19 years when RMU visits the Coliseum on Dec. 9.

The last time these two teams played was on Dec. 7, 2010 when WVU won 82-49 in Morgantown. Before that their last meeting was Dec. 15, 2001.

The Colonials went 20-14 last season, 13-5 in the NEC, and won their conference tournament. RMU lost three of its final five regular-season games, but swept through the Northeast Conference Tournament, defeating Saint Francis for the championship.

RMU’s top returner is senior AJ Bramah, who averaged 13.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season.

Dec. 13 vs Richmond

Like Robert Morris, Dec. 13 will be only the second meeting between WVU and Richmond in the last 19 years. The most recent game between these two came on Nov. 26, 2015 when WVU won 67-59. Before that the two last played on March 16, 2001 and before that the to had not played since 1976.

The Spiders finished last season 27-4, 14-2 in the A-10. They finished the season on a four-game winning streak and would have played in the Atlantic 10 Championship quarterfinals.

Their top returner is senior guard Blake Francis, who led the team with 17.7 points per game last season.

Dec. 29 vs Buffalo

WVU and Buffalo will meet for just the fifth time ever on Dec. 29. The last time these two teams met, Buffalo pulled a surprise upset of then-No. 13 West Virginia in the Coliseum 99-94 to start the 2018-19 season.

Buffalo finished last season 20-12, 11-7 in the MAC. The Bulls lost to Miami (OH) in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

UB’s top returner is senior guard Jayvon Graves, an All-MAC selection who averaged 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last season.

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