Game Day Vitals
- #17 West Virginia Mountaineers (13-1, Big XII 2-0, NCAA RPI 23) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-5, Big XII 1-1, NCAA RPI 181)
- Series Record: 3-4, last matchup was a winner in the Coliseum W 82-72
- Location: WVU Coliseum (Capacity: 14,000) Morgantown, West Virginia
- Vegas Lines: N/A, O/U:N/A
- Date: Saturday, Jan 9, 2016, 1:00 PM EST
- Television: ESPNU/WatchESPN App
- Radio Affiliates
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-5, Big XII 1-1, NCAA RPI 181)
- Head Coach: Travis Ford, Eighth year as Oklahoma State head coach, 331–248 career (.592)
- Last Result - Loss to Baylor in Waco L 79-62
- Official Cowboys athletics website
- SBN Oklahoma State blog - Cowboys Ride for Free
Cowboy Basketball Roundup - Episode 3 (January 7, 2016)
And, in case you missed it, Travis Ford was ejected a few months ago from his son's high school basketball game, (Deadspin, Autoplay Warning) Let's hear from everyone's favorite Doug Gottlieb about it.
There are several different ways to interpret the 13-1 start to the 2015-2016 WVU basketball season and they all depend on your expectations going in. The losses of Juwan Staten and Gary Browne would be an obvious concern. But, with Devin Williams and several young guards coming back armed with plenty of experience from 2014-15, the Mountaineers weren't supposed to miss too much of a beat. And they haven't. Then again, is that much of a surprise? The nonconference schedule RPI rankings show that West Virginia has simply beaten the teams they should beat and dumptrucked the teams they should dumptruck. These are traits of a good, quality team, but a great team beats the big guys. The UVA game has been the only true test that the Mountaineers have faced thus far and that streak of meh opponents continues until Tuesday against Kansas. Seeing that this is a preview for Saturday's game against Oklahoma State, the meh opponents continue.
Per ESPN's Andy Katz a week ago:
Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said in a text message senior guard Phil Forte is "most likely out for year but it's not officially decided yet." Ford said Forte would redshirt. Forte has been out with a torn ligament in his left elbow. Forte was averaging 13.3 points a game but played in only the first three games of the season.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys aren't as bad as the RPI rankings that the NCAA (181) or ESPN (172) have given them, but things aren't peachy in Stillwater either. They've managed to lose to George Mason and Missouri St, two teams that have an average RPI ranking of 214, yet gave Florida a helluva run in a virtual home game for the Gators in Sunrise, FL. The loss of Forte was certainly was a staggering blow to the Cowboys, but they seem to have started to get back into the groove of things since that awful loss to Missouri State.
The interesting matchup for this game will be Devin Williams and the Mountaineer front court against the OSU 7-footer Anthony Allen, 6'7 Leyton Hammonds, and the rest. West Virginia should be able to get their fair share of turnovers from the Cowboy guards in the press, but WVU needs to be able to get the half court offense clicking to put this one away. Honestly..... they shouldn't have too much of a problem and the Eers head into a Tuesday date with the Jayhawks at 14-1.
Prediction: WVU 82, Oklahoma State 71
We think OK State's Phil Forte is out for the year. The Bob Huggins CIA? "The information I got was it was going to be a game day decision."— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) January 8, 2016
I have no idea what to make of this. We'll keep an eye on it.