WVU Travel A Hot Topic - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Travel A Hot Topic


The West Virginia University men's basketball team is certainly racking up the frequent flyer miles. By the time the regular season is over, WVU will have traveled more than 31,000 miles.

Trips to Gonzaga and the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida account for approximately 9,000 miles. However, the bulk of those miles can be credited to competition in the Big 12.

WVU faces trips to each of its Big 12 brothers while its conference opponents make just one league trip out of the central time zone.

"I think it is a really tough situation for West Virginia," Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes said. "Where I feel for West Virginia is wherever they go, they go to a different time zone and lose an hour coming back."

"Certainly it is a much bigger deal for them," Kansas Head Coach Bill Self stated. "They have to go west so many times and we only have to do it once."

Unforeseen travel issues can arise and have already hurt the Mountaineers. WVU played a 9 p.m. eastern time tipoff at Texas and won in overtime. The Mountaineers did not return to the Coliseum until after 7 o'clock the following morning. Heavy fog prevented them from flying into Clarksburg. The same was true for Morgantown, so after sitting on the tarmac for over an hour they finally departed for Pittsburgh and had to bus back to Morgantown.

"That almost happened to us yesterday because of weather," Barnes said. "But it finally opened up enough for us to get in there."

NCAA rules prevent the Mountaineers from playing a road game in one city and traveling to the next when the games are separated by more than 48 hours. Each road game is met with its own travel to and from Morgantown.

"I think as time goes on the league is really going to have to work with West Virginia to help," Barnes stated. "I don't know how to do it, but I think it is really tough on them. Every trip they go on they have to go to a different time zone and lose an hour coming back."

One solution might be for the Big 12 to find a way to mirror a Pac-12 schedule for WVU. The Pac-12 will send a team like Arizona State to Washington State for a game on Thursday followed by a Saturday game at Washington. Perhaps WVU will be able to do something like that with a Thursday game at Oklahoma followed by a Saturday game at Oklahoma State. That would eliminate one trip to the Midwest for the Mountaineers.

Typically WVU will not hesitate to place a marquee non-conference game in the middle of conference play. This year that game was at Purdue in a spot where WVU had a Big 12 bye. Playing those games once conference play is underway may be a thing of the past.

"I think what we need to do is keep those (tough non-conference) games out of the conference schedule with all of the travel," WVU Head Coach Bob Huggins stated. "It would have been nice to have the rest of that week off when we went to Purdue. I don't think we are going to travel the way we have traveled during the non-conference season."

West Virginia just completed its furthest Big 12 trip. The Mountaineers won 77-61 at Texas Tech. That trip alone racked up more than 3,000 miles roundtrip for those frequent flyer accounts.

WVU is facing back-to-back road trips on the upcoming schedule. West Virginia will visit TCU in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday then return to Morgantown before a game at Baylor in Waco, Texas on Wednesday. Fort Worth and Waco are approximately two hours apart by car.

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