Coach Huggins and the WVU basketball team enter Big 12 conference play Saturday when they travel to TCU to take on the undefeated (13-0) Horned Frogs. The Mountaineers finished their non-conference schedule going 12-1 to start the season, a record that has not been seen in many years.
With a win on Saturday the Mountaineers would increase their record to 13-1 which will be the best start Huggins has ever had while at WVU, including the year the Mountaineers reached the Final Four. The last time the Mountaineers started the season 13-1 was the 2006-2007 season, Coach Beilein’s final season in Morgantown before he left for Michigan. However, that 2006 team reached that 13-1 mark in a very different way than this years Mountaineer team has reached their 12-1 record. This may be one of the most relentless defenses in the nation ranking first in many categories including steals per game (13.5), total steals (175) and turnover margin (10.9).
Though the Mountaineers yield an RPI of 17 (as of 1/1/15) the conference as a whole is deep. The Big 12 currently leads the nation in average RPI at 57.7 according to our weekly hoops report. Further 8 of the 10 teams in the Big 12 already have double digit wins, only Oklahoma(9) and Kansas St (7) have yet to break the 10 win mark this season. Even more impressive is the fact the Big 12 has 6 schools currently ranked in the AP Top 25. What is comforting here is that Mountaineer basketball, until the football program, has run this gauntlet of powerful basketball teams for years dating back to the Big East.
Just two seasons removed from finishing 13-19 the Mountaineers are looking to get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 2011-2012 season, their last season in the Big East.
Big 12 teams currently ranked with RPI ranking
#9 Iowa St 40
#11 Texas 28
#13 Kansas 2
#17 WVU 17
#18 Oklahoma 38
#22 Baylor 20