New York, NY-
The West Virginia men’s basketball team tests their 7-0 record at Madison Square Garden tonight against #10 Virginia (7-1) in the 21st annual Jimmy V Classic. This is the Mountaineers second straight year playing at Madison Square Garden. WVU defeated NC State last year in the Gotham Classic 83-69.
From the Atlantic Coast Conference, Virginia will be the first ranked opponent the Mountaineers will see this season. The two have not played each other in thirty years with the last match-up being in the 1985 National Invitational Tournament where the Cavaliers won 56-55. The all-time series is tied at 8-8.
Tonight, will be WVU’s 77th appearance at Madison Square Garden where they have won 32 games including 17 of the last 25. It will be the 13th appearance for the Cavalier’s.
Virginia enters tonight’s game 7-1, their sole loss being 73-68 to George Washington to open the season. Since then, they have outscored their opponents by an average of 19 points per game. They may again be playing without their starting point guard London Perrantes for the third straight game. Sophomore Darius Thompson has started in his absence,
Against William and Mary, Thompson had 12 points and four steals and against Ohio State he scored 12 points and had six assists.
West Virginia has forced a turnover on 30 percent of possessions (ranked first in forced turnovers) and is averaging 31 points off of those turnovers. However, Virginia is only averaging 7.4 turnovers per game, the best average in the country.
WVU expected Starters
- # 23 Freshman Esa Ahmad Forward has started all games this season as a true freshman
- # 2 Jevon Carter Sophomore Guard set freshman record of 67 steals
- # 4 Daxter Miles Jr. Sophomore Guard has started every game of his career
- # 41 Devin Williams Junior Forward has five double-doubles this season which ranks 6th nationally
- # 1 Jonathan Holton Senior Forward has three double-doubles this season
Virginia expected Starters
- # 4 Sophomore Marial Shayok Guard averaging 5.8 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game
- # 51 Sophomore Darius Thompson Guard averaging 8.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg
- # 13 Senior Anthony Gill Forward averaging 12.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg
- # 10 Senior Mike Tobey Center averaging 8.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg
- # 15 Senior Malcolm Brogdon averaging 17.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.