TThe 21st ranked Oklahoma Sooners (17-5, 6-3 in Big 12) will play the West Virginia Mountaineers (13-9,5-4 in Big 12) Wednesday night in Morgantown in a heated Big 12 matchup.
The Sooners are coming off a loss to sixteenth ranked Iowa State 81-75. The Mountaineers have won two in a row and hope to give the Sooners another conference loss.
Oklahoma is averaging over 82 points a game and is currently ranked the number 10 scoring offense in the country. Sophomore guard, Bobby Heild, had a career high 30-points in the Iowa State loss last Saturday while sophomore guard, Isaiah Cousins had a 13 point 10 rebound double-double against the Cyclones.
Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger has done his homework and knows who to stop come game time in Morgantown.
" Just watching them [WVU] lately, you know Staten is so tough in terms of transition," Krueger said. "You got two wings in [Eron] Harris and [Terry] Henderson who can shoot it. Their big guys are playing physical. Bob [Huggins] does a great job. They're playing really good basketball."
Junior guard Juwan Staten, was just named Big 12 Player of the Week, the first time a WVU player has won this honor since joining the conference. Staten is now averaging 18 points, six assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game. He has reached double digits in points in all but one game this season.
In last Saturday's win vs. Kansas State, Huggins gave Staten more room to create opportunities by spreading the floor and allowing him to take control, penetrate, and either score or dish to a team mate. This allowed him to have a career high 35 points as the Mountaineers beat Kansas State 81-71 in Morgantown.
But Huggins has spent the last few days familiarizing himself with the Sooners. All five of Oklahoma's loses this year have come against good teams- Michigan State, Louisiana Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State- and four of the five loses have been by seven points or less.
The Mountaineers have been lacking an inside presence and thus not executing on the offensive and defensive boards. They have struggled with rebounding fundamentals like boxing out and following their shot on the offensive end.
Ryan Spangler of Oklahoma is a monster on the boards and the Mountaineers will have to put a body on him in order to get him out of the paint. At 6 foot 8 inches and 232 pounds the sophomore guard has pulled down 93 boards in his last seven games and is averaging a team best 10.2 rebounds per game this season.
"He's the best rebounder in our league, and maybe one of the best in the country," said Huggins.
Last year, Oklahoma won all three times they faced West Virginia, including a 10-point win in Morgantown this time last year…in January 2013.
West Virginia is looking to secure its third straight conference victory Wednesday night as they battle it out as some of the best in the Big 12. Tip off begins at 7p.m. at the Coliseum and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at WVUGAME.com