WVU Men's Basketball: Baylor Preview - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Men's Basketball: Baylor Preview


West Virginia has an opportunity to do something on Wednesday night that it has not done yet this season: win four consecutive games.

The Mountaineers (12-11, 5-5) won their last three games against teams that they were expected to beat, but now they'll go head-to-head with Baylor (15-8, 6-4). The Bears are just one game up on West Virginia in the conference standings, but WVU hasn't played very well against the teams that sit ahead of them.

In five games against the teams below them in the Big 12 standings, the Mountaineers are 5-0, but in the five games against teams ahead of them, they're 0-5. Meanwhile, Baylor hasn't lost a single game to a team with a worse conference record than its own.

West Virginia will have a chance to change all of that in Waco, but it will have to deal with the Big 12's leading scorer, Pierre Jackson.

Jackson nets 19.1 points per game for the Bears and is also one of the conference's best shooters from outside the arc. That's bad news for a West Virginia team that allows teams to shoot 35 percent from three. Jackson has scored at least ten points and made at least one three-pointer in every game so far this season.

The Bears also get a lot of production out of Isaiah Austin, who scores 14 per game and leads the team with 9.7 rebounds. Cory Jefferson contributes with 12.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

The Mountaineers don't have anyone scoring nearly as proficiently as Jackson. Aaric Murray leads the team in scoring and rebounding, but with just 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Eron Harris has turned himself into an offensive weapon, though. The freshman averages 8.5 points per game, but has scored in double digits in seven of his last eight games and has proven to be a legitimate outside threat for West Virginia.

As a team, West Virginia shoots just 40.6 percent from the field, but that number has been rising in recent games. In a win over TCU on Saturday, the Mountaineers shot 51.2 percent.

Baylor hasn't been as challenged offensively. The Bears shoot a little better than 45 percent from the field and rank second in the conference with 75.3 points per game.

A win over Texas Tech on Saturday ended a three-game losing streak for Baylor. The team had not lost consecutive games all season before that slump.

This will be just the second time these two have ever met, with the first being last season. Baylor came into that game ranked seventh in the country, but West Virginia was able to take the game into overtime. The Bears did eventually end up winning the contest, 83-81. They will get the chance to become familiar with each other, as they'll meet up again exactly two weeks after Wednesday's game.

This week's matchup will tip at 9 pm and will be available on ESPN2.

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