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Takeaways: RaeQuan Battle is the Pure Scorer WVU Needed



WVU Basketball RaeQuan Battle

WVU Basketball got back into the win column on Saturday afternoon against Toledo. Let’s look at some takeaways from the game.

RaeQuan Battle is Pretty Good

West Virginia waited almost the entirety of the non-conference schedule to get RaeQuan Battle on the floor and the 6-foot-5 guard has made the most of it. Battle has scored 29 points in back-to-back games and has brought a new-look offense to the Mountaineers. Battle has already become the go-to scorer for this team, which was needed as everyone is learning their new roles.

Battle recorded 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field in the win vs. Toledo. Battle does a great job at getting to the rim and when he’s shooting it well from deep, he’s hard to stop. Battle was the pure scorer that was needed for West Virginia as they wrap up non-conference play next weekend against Ohio State.

Akok Fitting into New Role Well

WVU C Jesse Edwards is currently recovering from a fractured right wrist. Edwards had surgery on Wednesday and is looking to return to the floor in about four weeks. Akok Akok knew right away that he would be needed to fill in at the five during Edwards’ absence. Akok, who returned to the court a few weeks ago, helped West Virginia out-rebound an opponent for the first time since Bellarmine.

Akok finished Saturday’s game with nine points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. Akok was out of action for about six weeks after collapsing on the floor in the George Mason exhibition. WVU interim HC Josh Eilert has slowly increased Akok’s minutes as the Georgetown transfer played 24 minutes against the Rockets.

WVU’s big man depth is very thin with just Akok and Patrick Suemnick at the five but they’ll both have great chances for more minutes before Edwards returns.

WVU Needs to Rely on Scoring

Since Battle, Kerr Kriisa and Noah Farrakhan returned to the court for the Mountaineers, Eilert and the team have had to change their identity from the first nine games. At the beginning when WVU’s depth was depleted, West Virginia played slow, trying to beat teams that way. Now, the Mountaineers need to play fast and outscore the opposition.

Battle, Kriisa and Farrakhan are all fast-paced players but the defensive effort has looked shaky against Radford and Toledo. West Virginia now needs to commit to an offensive-based team under Eilert, who has wanted to play fast ever since being promoted.

West Virginia will have a week off during Christmas before traveling to Cleveland, Ohio to take on Ohio State on Saturday, Dec. 30.

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