Much like West Virginia No.14, which ended a two-week run without games Saturday with a 69-47 win at Kansas State, No.12 Texas Tech will end his game drought with a trip to Morgantown for a Big Monday showdown on ESPN. the game will tip at 9 p.m.
The Red Raiders’ last game came in a 68-60 loss to No.2 Baylor on January 16, with a games against TCU and Iowa State having since been postponed. These postponements, however, were not due to COVID-19 issues in Techprogram’s, but because of issues with the Horned Frogs and Cyclones, respectively.
This is probably the biggest difference as Monday approaches game, at least for WVU Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers have been shut down for 10 days with just four players available for much of that time according to Huggins.
“I do not think so [the layoff] plays, I think what plays is how well they’ve been able to train, which we obviously have no idea, ”Huggins said. “I know the little we were able to practice was not much. Theirs wasn’t as long as ours, either.
There is certainly a lot of uncertainty as Monday approaches on both sides. WVU made a successful comeback on Saturday, forcing 28 turnovers to overcome a bit of offensive rust in their win over Kansas State. But will the Mountaineers be better and how much rust can the team be able to remove in just a few days? And what effect, if any, a nine-day break in the game schedule have on texas Tech?
At least in terms of scouting and preparation, Huggins said he didn’t expect much change on either side.
“I doubt that we will do anything that surprises [Texas Tech coach] Chris [Beard] and I’d be surprised if Chris does something that surprises us, ”Huggins said. “This is the league game. You get into the league game so you know what you are getting into. I just don’t see Chris making big changes, and we sure aren’t going to make big changes. “
Junior guard Mac McClung has been outstanding so far this season for the Red Raiders (11-4 overall, 4-3 Big 12 Conference). In fact, no one during the Big 12 was better offensively, as McClung averages 19.7 points in Techles seven conference contests. For the season, McClung is averaging 16.3 points to lead four double-digit goalscorers with Terren Shannon Jr. (12.8), Kevin McCullar (11.2) and Kylar Edwards (10.1), each also bringing important contributions.
But the Red Raiders have hung their hats under Beard, now in its fifth season, and this year is no different than Texas Tech is 10th nationally in team defense, allowing just 59.9 points per game.
That defense could be a major challenge for an attack in West Virginia that has struggled at times this season. The mountaineers (10-4, 3-3) drew their coach’s wrath with quick possessions and inadequate passing, and that continued on Saturday. And while point guard Miles “Deuce” McBride and first-year winger Jalen Bridges were pretty effective, combining for 30 points on 12 of 18 shots, the rest of the team were just 10 for 32 off the ground.
“Offensively I didn’t think we were very good,” Huggins said. “We didn’t share the ball much and it’s a sure recipe for disaster. If you look at how we scored, we scored when we passed the ball. We have good kids, it’s not like they’re selfish or anything like that, they get to a point where they think they can play and it’s hard to play one on five. So you have to move the ball and move these people.
Of particular concern are …
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