No. 14 West Virginia hosts No. 12 Texas Tech in crucial clash

Plan is ordinarily a way of daily life for higher education basketball gamers and coaches, specially the moment the conference season kicks in.

In 2020-21, nonetheless, almost nothing is program, and that is the problem that Texas Tech and West Virginia are muddling by way of as they prepare for yet another matchup of ranked Significant 12 Meeting foes.

The twelfth-ranked Pink Raiders take a look at Morgantown, W.Va., on Monday to choose on the No. 14 Mountaineers.

The video game will be Texas Tech’s initial considering the fact that Jan. 16 right after both of the Pink Raiders’ scheduled matchups past week were postponed owing to COVID-19 protocols at TCU and Iowa Point out. West Virginia just returned from a two-week pause on Saturday with a 69-47 street victory at Kansas Point out.

Prior to the shutdown, the Mountaineers (10-four, three-three Significant 12) shed two of 3 video games — decided by 4 factors or fewer — as they altered to the reduction of large male Oscar Tshiebwe, a 2nd-workforce All-Significant 12 collection past season.

“It was large considering the fact that we arrived off a reduction two months back and then got hit with COVID,” WVU mentor Bob Huggins mentioned of the victory at K-Point out. “We really hadn’t had a time where we had a lot more than 4 fellas recently. Tricky to get anything at all done with that.

“The fellas that had been doing work out looked great, but the other fellas struggled. We’ve got to get all those fellas again in actively playing form, which is difficult with our routine.”

That degree of issue contains the showdown with the Pink Raiders (11-four, four-three), who break up video games against major-five opponents Texas and Baylor just before their surprising week off.

Texas Tech provides a great deal of confidence right after successful its initial 3 Significant 12 street video games — just the 2nd time the Pink Raiders have done so considering the fact that the league began in 1996-ninety seven.

Mentor Chris Beard mentioned his workforce has used the COVID-caused split to give gamers some relaxation, but there also have been tactics and movie work with a purpose of being sharp.

When it was distinct that Texas Tech would not participate in Saturday, there was a great deal of concentration shifted to the Mountaineers, and Beard mentioned he is amazed with how they have altered devoid of the six-foot-9, 260-pound Tshiebwe. Most notably, WVU has played a lot more with 4 guards all over six-10 Derek Culver.

“They still have the skill to participate in two bigs,” Beard mentioned. “They have manufactured some adjustments for certain, but it is still West Virginia basketball. It is still in their DNA.”

Miles McBride tops the Mountaineers with fifteen.three factors a video game and led them with 18 against K-Point out. Culver scores thirteen.four factors a contest and potential customers the league with 10.three rebounds a contest.

“Culver is one particular of the ideal gamers in the Significant 12,” Beard mentioned. “He is not just a again-to-the-basket center. He can stretch the floor and will get a good deal of items done on the defensive end.”

West Virginia’s problem will be to include Texas Tech guard Mac McClung, who has been on a tear the past five video games. Coming off a season-ideal 24 factors in a reduction to Baylor, McClung is averaging 20.2 factors an outing considering the fact that the January grind began.

West Virginia’s protection got again to work in design right after the two-week hiatus by restricting K-Point out to 38.1 percent taking pictures (16 of 42) and forcing 28 turnovers, the most by a Significant 12 workforce this season, which led to 26 Mountaineer factors.

“I considered we were a bit rusty offensively, but defensively we stepped up and played one particular of our ideal video games of the yr,” McBride mentioned. “We’ve been seeing a good deal of movie and acquiring psychological reps. Men that could get on the floor did and we worked a good deal on protection.”

–Subject Amount Media