The Mountaineers will open their season tonight at the WVU Coliseum against Mount St. Mary's at 8 p.m.
It was a disappointing season a year ago for West Virginia. Bob Huggins' team finished 13-19 overall in their first season in the Big 12 Conference. The past is the past for a reason, and the Mountaineers must have a quick memory if they hope to have a better season this year.
The roster heading into tonight's opener includes many new faces. Gone are seniors Deniz Kilicli, Dominique Rutledge and Matt Humphrey due to graduation. The Mountaineers also had several players transfer or leave the team. These include Jabarie Hinds, Aaric Murray, Keaton Miles, Volodymyr Gerin and Aaron Brown.
The new roster includes five true freshmen. With a lack of depth, Mountaineer fans can expect to see two of the five, Nathan Adrian and Devin Williams, in the starting lineup. Leading scorer from a year ago, Eron Harris, returns for his second season at West Virginia. Also returning from last year's team are Juwan Staten, Terry Henderson, Gary Browne and Kevin Noreen.
Coach Bob Huggins says Staten is developing into a leader on the new look Mountaineers.
"He's worked hard," said Huggins. "He realizes that he needs to step up and fill that role."
Huggins also says Gary Browne has worked hard in the off-season at improving his game.
"He's put in a lot of time working on his shot," said Huggins.
West Virginia will open the season tonight against a Mount St. Mary's ball club that went 18-14 a season ago. The last meeting between the two teams was in 2006. The Mountaineers pulled out a 50-42 victory, getting 14 points from guard Darris Nichols.
The Mountaineers will look to start the season off on a positive note with a win in what is only the fifth meeting all-time between the two schools.
After playing Mount St. Mary's, the Mountaineers will have a quick turnaround before getting ready to face Virginia Tech on the road during Tuesday's 24 hour college basketball special.