MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–After losing to Kansas on Tuesday night, No. 10 West Virginia returns home to take on TCU in front of a sold-out Coliseum crowd.
The Mountaineers (19-5, 8-3 Big 12) have their sights set on winning the Big 12 crown, but WVU must take care of the Horned Frogs first.
As the Mountaineers know from previous experiences, this isn’t an easy task.
“If you’re not mentally ready to go this is a hard league to play in,” head coach Bob Huggins said.
Despite being in last place in the conference, TCU is no slouch. The Horned Frogs (11-13, 2-9) are coming off a 63-56 win over Oklahoma State on Monday.
TCU also picked up a win over Tennessee in the SEC/ Big 12 Challenge.
Malique Trent leads the Horned Frogs in scoring, averaging 11.0 points per game. Chauncey Collins is right behind him, averaging 10.5 points. Collins is the main 3-point threat TCU has. He has made 19 this season.
Trent and Collins combined to make 10-of-17 against Oklahoma State.
Devonta Abron is a powerful big man. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward averages five points and 3.7 rebounds. Junior forward Chris Washburn plays alongside Abron and averages 8.4 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Brandon Parrish is an effective perimeter player. He averages 8.4 points and 4.3 rebounds. The 6-foot-6, 210 junior guard is shooting 50 percent in the Horned Frogs last two games.
Shooting troubles have plagued TCU most of this season. The Horned Frogs are shooting 41 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc.
TCU is 1-6 on the road this season.
The first time WVU and the Horned Frogs met in Fort Worth on Jan.4, TCU jumped out to a seven point lead in early in the second half, but Jaysean Paige and Tarik Phillip came off the bench to lead the Mountaineers to a 95-87 win.
Paige leads WVU in scoring with an average of 14.2 points per game. Devin Williams leads the Big 12 with 10 double-doubles. The 6-foot-9 junior averages 13.4 points and 8.8 rebounds.
Senior Jonathan Holton returns to the lineup after a four game suspension. He is averaging 9.7 points and 7.5 rebounds. However, the 6-foot-7 forward may be a little rusty.
“He was probably a little more out of breath yesterday than he normally is but Jon doesn’t have any body fat, guys like him get back into shape a lot faster than you are I would,” Huggins said.
Nathan Adrian has stepped up his game in Holton’s absence, averaging 8.5 points in four games. The junior forward is shooting 6-of-8 from 3-point range.
The Mountaineers lead the country in steals and forced turnovers. WVU is second in offensive rebounds per game.
The Mountaineers are 7-0 against TCU. Last year WVU pulled out a thrilling 86-85 overtime victory at the Coliseum when Carter made two free throws with 0.9 seconds to go.
Williams needs nine points to become the Mountaineers’ 50th 1,000-point scorer.
Tipoff is at noon and the game is being televised on ESPNU.