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WVU - KState Preview: Oliver Garden Of Doom

The West Virginia University men's basketball team returns to Morgantown with a much needed win and try to get on a roll against the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday at 1:30PM.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Vitals

Opponent Information


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Twitter is Fun: KState Edition

This is directly from the twitter of Kirk H. Schulz, the President of Kansas State University:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I don&#39;t remember this picture being taken - the wonders of Photoshop! <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Kirk H. Schulz (@kstate_pres) <a href="">January 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

There you go.

Game Preview

The last time these two teams faced off, the Mountaineers had one of their worst games of the season. West Virginia went 16-49 from the field to shoot a dreadful 32.7%, a season-low. On the flip side, KState shot the best they have all season going 28-51 (54.9%) and more dunks than I'd care to see the rest of the year. The Eers got manhandled in the Octagon of Doom lead to the lowest we here at the Musket have felt on this squad for a while referring to phrases like "regression", "depression", "low basketball IQ."

Since two weeks ago, the Mountaineers have climbed out of the well to actually win a much needed (arguably) quality opponent in the Baylor Bears. While Baylor is right behind KState in the conference standings, there is a chasm of difference between the Wildcats' RPI 38 rank and Baylor's 64. This should come to no surprise considering the Fightin' EMAWs have a considerably better team both on paper and the court. Thus, this is a much bigger task for the Mountaineers than what was asked of them on Tuesday night in Waco.

As for KState, nothing specifically has changed in their team buildup. Still the fascinating thing about Bruce Weber's team is that they score 67.5 points per game (282nd nationally) and shoot only 42.1% from the field (286th nationally.) Yet, because of their crazy stingy defense, the Wildcats are 15-6 and well on their way to their 28th NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth in a row.

KState's main production come from three key players: Marcus Foster, Shane Southwell, and Thomas Gipson. Foster is a freshman PG and is worthy of the Freshman All Big XII list. Averaging 14 points a game, Foster is the driving force behind the Wildcats scoring and will only get better as his career progresses. Shane Southwell and Gipson, both 6-7 guys, average 11 points per game and can set the tone for the Wildcats defensive foothold. The Mountaineers learned this lesson the hard way last time with Southwell and Gipson getting 20 points each.

For the Mountaineers, Juwan Staten has to play even better than he has against Foster. Going 5-10 from the field with three assists will not get the job done. If WVU can come out and shoot well, they can force KState to start stretching their defense and, hopefully, make this into a shootout. Bruce Weber has a very dangerous Wildcats team solely because their defense keeps them in games. Don't be surprised if the Mountaineers have to make foul shots down the stretch to fight off the Cats. With all that being said, I think the Wildcats are much too talented to be bothered by this young Huggins squad.

Prediction: WVU 77 KSU 85