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Akron Preview: WVU Basketball's Game Challenges Begin

Zeke Marshall #44 and the Akron Zips are in Morgantown tonight. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Zeke Marshall #44 and the Akron Zips are in Morgantown tonight. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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It seems that the only good thing coming out of Akron, Ohio these days is its college basketball team. The dust is still settling from this month's release of Scott Raab's book "The Whore of Akron" (Raab hates Lebron if you couldn't tell by the title). The Zips of Akron are in town to officially start the tough part of the non-conference schedule for the Mountaineer Men's Basketball team. Coach Huggins believes our young team is making progress. We'll sure enough find out this week as the Zips (3-2) come into tonight's game having already beat Mississippi State, a team we face next weekend. If we can't win tonight, expect another toughie this Saturday when we play MSU on ESPNU.

Akron made it to round #2 of the NCAA tournament last year with the same front line starting this year. Their big men will test how strong WVU is in the paint, as 7-foot junior center Zeke Marshall will challenge all shots (he averages over 5 blocks per game). He'll also grab a lot of rebounds if he's not blocked out well. This SHOULD be where Deniz Kilicli's size comes in handy, although it would be helpful if he'd just make all of his layups.

WVU has exactly one month (eight more games including Akron) to get ready for Big East Conference play. Already 3-1, it will be a great start to the season if they can be 9-3 by the time we play Villanova on December 28. Which begs the question: What do you think WVU's record will entering BIG EAST play?

Tonight's game is on ESPN3, Big East network affiliates and ROOT Sports in Pittsburgh.