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Takeaways: WVU Basketball Trying to Stay Afloat Already



WVU Basketball Huddle/Black Uniform
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

WVU Basketball fell to Pitt 80-63 in the Backyard Brawl, resulting in the team scrambling quickly before hosting Drexel on Saturday. Let’s look at some takeaways following the game.

WVU Trying to Stay Afloat Already

West Virginia is now 3-5 after the Backyard Brawl loss. The Mountaineers have Drexel, UMass, Radford, Toledo and Ohio State left on their non-conference roster. WVU returned Akok Akok on Wednesday after six weeks away from the floor. Starting guard Kerr Kriisa will also come back against UMass on Dec. 16, following his nine-game suspension. There is help along the way but at what point is it too late? West Virginia will need to get up to 7-8 wins before Big 12 play, as conference play will be a gauntlet once again.

West Virginia has two days off before hosting Drexel on Saturday, who recently defeated Villanova. No time to dwell on the Backyard Brawl loss.

Shooters Still Slumping?

So far this season, West Virginia has struggled to shoot from three. WVU F Quinn Slazinski is the only player to shoot over 33% from three on the roster. Seth Wilson (31%), Josiah Harris (23%), Ofri Naveh (27%) and Kobe Johnson (23%) are all struggling to shoot from the perimeter. WVU interim HC Josh Eilert specifically has mentioned that Wilson and Harris are in a shooting slump. Wilson and Harris combined for 1-of-8 from the field against Pitt.

Eilert has defended the two, saying that a breakout game is nearing for both. Following the Pitt game, Eilert said it’s his job to build them back up, rather than tear them down.

Poor Second Half Once More

West Virginia has been outscored in the second half five times this season, -41 point differential. Against Pitt, WVU did not have an answer for Blake Hinson, who hit a program-high nine threes. Hinson already had five-threes at halftime but there was no adjustment from the Mountaineers.

Eilert mentioned that he wanted to play zone earlier but didn’t until it was too late.

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