WVU Not In Terrible Shape As Big 12 Play Begins - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Not In Terrible Shape As Big 12 Play Begins

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MORGANTOWN -

The West Virginia University men's basketball team did not bust out of the gates in its first 12 games like many believed it would. That we can all agree on. However, the notion that this team is in terrible shape heading into Big 12 play, is not entirely true. Sure, it is not in great shape, but all is not lost at this point.

Listen to any one of Head Coach Bob Huggins' postgame news conferences, win or lose, and you will hear a frustrated man. This team has yet to really put together a 40-minute game, which has been the biggest reason it has lost five games. The Mountaineers had a second half lead in three of their five losses.

Despite those negatives, the Mountaineers are not in terrible shape heading into Big 12 play. Sure, the Mountaineers have the worst record among Big 12 teams. However, they are seventh in the conference in terms of RPI and have played the fourth toughest schedule of any Big 12 team.

The Big 12 has three teams ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll. Kansas checks in at No. 9, Oklahoma State is No. 22 and Kansas State is No. 25. It is not the strongest conference in the country. At this point, the Big 12 is the sixth toughest conference in the country behind the Big Ten, Mountain West, Big East, ACC and Pac 12.

There are definitely some winnable games out there. West Virginia will play 18 Big 12 games. It is a full round-robin with a home-and-home against each team in the conference.

Take a look at the latest RPI rankings according to RealTimeRPI.com:

RPI RANK SCHOOL OVERALL RECORD

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE RANK

3 Kansas 11-1 3
21 Oklahoma St. 10-2 49
28 Oklahoma 9-3 37
34 Baylor 8-4 9
58 Kansas St. 10-2 205
64 Iowa St. 10-3 168
99 WEST VIRGINIA 7-5 42
157 Texas 8-5 182
213 TCU 8-4 299
277 Texas Tech 7-4 329

West Virginia will play 12 of its 18 conference games against teams in the top 65 of the RPI. Those would all help WVU climb the RPI rankings ladder. The one loss on its resume that stings the most is the loss to Duquesne.

Right now there are no quality wins on West Virginia's tournament resume with that one bad loss to Duquesne. WVU will have the chance to pick up a quality win Saturday when Oklahoma comes to Morgantown.

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