Game Day Vitals
- #16 West Virginia Mountaineers (15-2, Big XII 3-1, NCAA RPI 17) vs. #20 Texas Longhorns (12-4, Big XII 1-2, NCAA RPI 34)
- Series Record: 3-5, last matchup was last year in Kansas City for the Big 12 Tournament L 66-49
- Location: Frank Erwin Center (Capacity: 16,734), Austin, Texas
- Vegas Lines: N/A, O/U: N/A
- Date: Saturday, Jan 17, 2015, 6:15 PM EST
- Television: ESPN / WatchESPN
- Radio Affiliates
- #20 Texas Longhorns (12-4, 1-2 Big XII, NCAA RPI 34)
- Head Coach - Rick Barnes, 17th year as UT head coach, 596–302 (.664)
- O/U on number of times you'll hear "TEXAS .... FIGHT": 1.4 billion
- Last Result - Loss in Stillwater to Oklahoma State L 69-58
- Official Texas athletics website
- SBN Texas site - Burnt Orange Nation and Barking Carnival
Shoutout to the RT
Kirchner did an excellent job with the most recent edition of Mountaineer Retweet. In it, he highlights one of the most significant parts of the OU win on Tuesday. Let's just take one moment to really let it resonate.
West Virginia is beating a top-20 team. By 20 points. With zero points from Juwan Staten.— Patrick Southern (@patricksouthern) January 14, 2015
So, Tuesday was awesome. WVU beat the living hell out of the Sooners and there's been a whole lot of high-fiving and back-slapping around here about it. You know what? There should be. Being a half-game back from pole position in the Big 12 isn't something to scoff at, but it is January. There is plenty of work to be done still and Saturday brings a big one. About four big ones, to be exact.
The Texas Longhorns have significant size in the front court with four forwards that get plenty of minutes. Jonathan Holmes, 6'8 senior, Connor Lammert, 6'9 junior, and Cameron Ridley, 6'9 junior, have all been starting regularly are efficient both on the glass and in point production. The story this year for the Longhorns has been 6'11 freshman Myles Turner, who has shown bright moments in several games this season. The problem for Turner is consistency. If the opposing squad has no answer for him on the box, the towering freshman can put up 20 like it is no one's business. However, if you are able to disrupt his game, he can have a night similar to a few nights ago against Oklahoma and simply go 2/9 over 25 minutes with a grand total of four points.
The back court is talented as well in Austin. Demarcus Holland has been a staple for the Texas guards all season long and his outside shooting at 48% from 3 is something the Mountaineers will have to keep in mind going into this game. Isaiah Taylor is only a sophomore, but he can change a game if healthy. Unfortunately, he's missed a majority of the season thus far with a wrist injury, but has been back in action as of late.
The story here is the same as always: if Texas can break the press with relative ease, then it will be close. If not, then #PressVirginia will continue on their Sherman's March and claim another road scalp. I don't think the Longhorn big men are good enough ball handlers to deal.
Prediction: WVU 76 Texas 65