As West Virginia gets set to face the University at Buffalo Bulls at 2:10 pm on Friday on TNT, there may be some people coming to the site who are unfamiliar with the 2014-2015 Mountaineers Men's Basketball team. Whether they are UB fans or people who work night shifts and have missed a lot of WVU games, we wanted to make sure you have the opportunity to catch up on what this season has been like for WVU.
WVU is most known for it's 40 minute use of the press on the defensive side of the ball. As soon as a basket is made or a shot or layup is missed, the Mountaineers always have a player right on the guy with the ball. In some cases, it has been Jonathan Holton and he screams while applying the pressure. It's nightmare inducing.
In what could be attributed to the press, WVU leads the nation in steals (350), steals per game (10.9) and offensive rebounds (16.8). The Mountaineers have also never finished the season leading the nation in any statistical category in school history.
The 628 turnovers the Mountaineers have forced so far this season are the second most in a season is school history. WVU has nine players with 24 or more steals this season and WVU has had seven or more steals in all but two games this season. Jevon Carter leads the way with 59 steals, needing just four more to break the school record for steals by a Freshman. The Mountaineers have also forced opponents to turn over the ball 20 more times in a game, 15 times this season.
The down side of the press is that opponents who have figured out how to handle it and/or not panicked, have been able to pass the ball around and get uncontested shots beyond the three point arc and deep two pointers.
WVU is 6-6 when they allow opponents to shoot 50% or better this season and 19-0 when holding opponents to 69 points or less.
Even with having big men like Devin Williams, Elijah Macon, Nathan Adrian, and Brandon Watkins (all of whom are 6-9) the Mountaineers love to shoot the ball.
WVU has outshot it's opponents by 487 shots, or 15.2 shots per game, this season. That's 1,975 to 1,488 if you are keeping count.
The Mountaineers have also been successful in making a three pointer in 520 consecutive games. However, WVU ranks 278th in three point field goal percentage, shooting just 31.8% from beyond the arc while only making 6.7 three pointers per game (good for 136th) this season.
So, on offense expect WVU to opt to shoot instead of passing inside to Devin Williams and letting him out muscle an opponent like he has proved he can do.
The 2014-2015 Mountaineers have a few big wins this season.
The first was in the Puerto Rico Tip Off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when they defeated the (at the time) 17th ranked defending National Champions, UCONN Huskies, to win the early season tournament.
Following that victory, the Mountaineers would go on to never be ranked lower than 23rd in the AP Poll.
The next big win came when WVU defeated the 18th ranked Oklahoma Sooners 86-65 at home on January 13th, 2015. WVU would follow with a thrilling victory over 8th ranked Kansas on February 16th, 2015 at home on a last second Juwan Staten layup.
WVU faced a particularly grueling Big 12 schedule that saw the Mountaineers playing 11 Big 12 games versus ranked opponents. The Mountaineers were also picked to finished sixth in the Big 12 this season and ended up finishing tied for fourth.
MARCH MADNESS FUN FACTS
Cheers to not being productive at work through the remainder of March. The unproductiveness of United States employees while watching March Madness at work will cost employers an estimated $1.9 Billion according to a WalletHub report.
If your team loses you'll help out pizza chains as fan bases that see their teams fall in the NCAA Tournament contribute a 19% increase in Pizza sales and a nine percent increase in desert sales, according to WalletHub.