WVU Men's Basketball By The Numbers: Five Keys To The Georgetown Matchup

Coach Huggins attempts to motivate his team. - Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountaineer men’s basketball team faces a familiar opponent on Tuesday night.

Here's how WVU stacks up against Georgetown going into this first round NIT matchup:

Category

WVU

Georgetown

Overall Record

17-15 (9-9)

17-14 (8-10)

Record Over Last 12 Games

6-6

7-5

Key Wins

at Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa St, Kansas

VCU, Michigan St, Creighton

Bad Losses

at Virginia Tech, Purdue

Northeastern, Seton Hall (twice), DePaul

Common Opponents

Kansas (1-1) and Kansas St (1-1)

Kansas (0-1) and Kansas St (1-0)

Home Record

12-3

Away Record

3-8

RPI

88

66

Strength of Schedule

42

17

Offense

Scoring Offense

77.5

70.2

Field Goal Percentage

43.9

46.0

3pt Field Goal Percentage

38.4

32.7

3pt Field Goals Made

7.9

5.3

Free Throw Percentage

72.4

71.6

Free Throw Attempts

23.3

23.2

Assists

13.2

13.1

Offensive Rebounds

12.0

10.1

Defense

Scoring Defense

73.3

67.4

Field Goal Percentage Defense

44.7

41.2

3pt Field Goal % Defense

34.4

32.5

Defensive Rebounds

23.8

23.5

Blocked Shots

3.0

4.3

Turnovers

9.7

11.9

Steals

6.4

5.9

Fouls Committed

20.5

21.8

Bold print categories highlight five keys to the game:

1. WVU's offense versus Georgetown's defense. Can WVU's half-court offense score against a Georgetown team that held its opponents to 67 points per game? Juwan Staten (playing his first game after experiencing an ankle injury against Texas), Eron Harris, and Terry Henderson must overcome Georgetown's pressure defense. WVU needs to make eight or more three point attempts. The Mountaineers also need to get to the free throw line, something they didn't do a whole lot of in late season losses to Oklahoma (10 attempts) and Texas (five attempts). WVU needs to shoot 25 free throws and make 18 or more to win.

2. WVU's defense versus Georgetown's offense. Can WVU play defense? Georgetown shoots 46% from the field, while WVU allows opponents to shoot almost 45%. WVU must be able to stop Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who combine to score 34 of the Hoyas 70 points per game.

3. Rebounds. Can WVU pound the offensive glass against the Hoyas? WVU grabs 12 offensive rebounds per game. WVU could get lots of second chance opportunities, as Georgetown sits near the bottom of the Big East in defensive rebounds. Hoya big men Mikael Hopkins, Aaron Bowen and Nate Lubick don't exactly dominate the glass, combining for only 14 rebounds per game. WVU's bigs (Devin Williams, Kevin Noreen and Nathan Adrian) must turn 15 or more offensive rebounds into points to defeat the Hoyas.

4. Takeaways. Can WVU create turnovers? Georgetown gives up 12 turnovers per game. WVU must pressure the Hoyas to force turnovers and score in transition. Henderson, Adrian and Gary Browne will be looked upon to breakdown the Hoyas' offense.

5. Home cooking. Can WVU win away from the Coliseum? WVU's inexperience has been a factor, as the Mountaineers are only 3-8 in true road games. Georgetown is 12-3 at home. However, this game will not be played at the Verizon Center (20,308 capacity). It will be played at the men's basketball practice facility - old McDonough Gym on the Georgetown campus (2,500 capacity). Expect Georgetown's students to play a major factor in this game.

These are two similar teams. Both rely on guard play. Both have defeated highly ranked teams at home. Both teams are 2-5 in their last seven games.

Georgetown possesses more experience on its roster (five seniors, three juniors). The game is being played on the Hoyas' campus...and the Mountaineers don't play that well away from Morgantown. It's a shame that WVU only averaged 8,600 fans at the Coliseum this season, as a home game against Georgetown would have almost guaranteed that WVU advances to the second round.

However, this is not a home game.

If you pay attention to post-game player comments, then you have noticed that the Mountaineers have talked a lot about being tired of losing.

It's time to play.

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