The West Virginia University basketball team will play the second of their four-game stretch at the Coliseum Saturday evening and will look to win their second in a row when they take on the Radford University Highlanders.
On Wednesday night, West Virginia (5-5) fought their way to a tough win against Oakland. Aaric Murray, who did not travel to the previous game against Michigan, heard Head Coach Bob Huggins' message loud and clear. He responded with his first double-double at WVU, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Radford (5-6) is currently on a three-game losing streak at the hands of Delaware, Williams & Mary and Charlotte. They are averaging 67.8 points per game this season and they are shooting 41.7% from the field. They are averaging 35.4 rebounds per game, good for 182nd nationally.
Sophomore guard Javonte Green leads the Highlanders in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game. He is shooting very well from the field this season, going 59-107 (55%). Only one other player is averaging double-digits in points for Radford. Another sophomore guard R.J. Price is scoring 13.1 per game.
Green also leads Radford in rebounding, averaging 7.1 per game. Kyle Noreen, younger brother of WVU's Kevin Noreen, is the second leading rebounder for the Highlanders, grabbing 4.8 per game.
"[Radford] does pretty much the same thing we've been seeing," Bob Huggins said. "A lot of dribble-drives and a lot of ball-screens. They've got really good quickness on the perimeter. They're relatively young, but they're a really athletic group that's kind of small inside. Pretty much what we've been seeing."
For West Virginia, they are averaging 69.6 points per game. Before the Oakland game, the Mountaineers were shooting a dreadful 38.9% from the field, but were able to shoot 53% against the Golden Grizzlies. They are averaging 39.4 total rebounds per game, which is 49th nationally.
WVU is still one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country and with their shooting woes,they need to be. They are 9th nationally in that category, averaging 15.8 per game.
Juwan Staten (10.8) is the only Mountaineer averaging double-figures in points. Aaric Murray is the leading rebounder for WVU, averaging 7.3 per game.
Deniz Kilicli has been held scoreless for back-to-back games and has only averaged nine minutes in both contests.
"We had a good session yesterday and I think Deniz understands what he's doing wrong," Huggins said. "Not to sound whatever, but it's a game of Neuromuscular Integration. You have to practice the right things. You can't practice the wrong things because whatever you do over a period of time becomes ingrained in your Neuromuscular System and it's harder to change that than it is to start from scratch."
This will be the fifth time these two schools have played each other, with the first being back in 1991. The Mountaineers have won the previous four, with the last being in Morgantown back during the 2008-2009 season.
The game is Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET and will be aired on Root Sports as well as ESPN3 (subject to blackout).