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West Virginia vs. TCU Basketball Preview & How To Watch: Mountaineers Look To Get Back On Track Against Horned Frogs

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After Tuesday's disappointment in Lawrence, the Mountaineers have Holton back and are looking to get back to their winning ways against TCU on Saturday.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Game Preview

The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs come to Morgantown on Saturday to face the Mountaineers. WVU defeated the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth on January 4th by a score of 95-87. With a win, the Mountaineers will remain tied atop the Big 12 standings with Oklahoma and Kansas.

WVU is coming of a loss in Lawrence at the hands of the Jayhawks. Despite problems with missed free throws and squandered live ball turnovers, that loss felt like it had less to do with WVU's failings and more to do with playing an excellent team that really doesn't lose at home.

WVU announced early Thursday afternoon that Jonathan Holton had been reinstated to the team. He was suspended on January 28 for an undisclosed violation of team rules. He was out for an ugly loss at Florida, wins against Iowa State and Baylor and the aforementioned loss at Kansas.

My biggest question is how Coach Huggins will handle the starts and rotations. Prior to the suspension, Holton was a pivotal starter and arguably the most important player for the Mountaineers. Since then, Nate Adrian has come on strong and is playing the best basketball of his still young WVU career. There is a good argument to ne made that the best option is to continue to start Esa Ahmad and Adrian and allow Holton to come of the bench with Jaysean Paige and Tarik Phillip. This scenario could allow a maximally explosive bench unit to come in just when the opponent is wearing down. Happily, Holton's suspension didn't impact the Mountaineers as much as some feared.

All of those questions should have little bearing on the outcome of this game. If the Mountaineers want to be in the conversation for a regular season Big 12 title, they absolutely must win this game at home. The Horned Frogs sit at the bottom of the Big 12 standings with a 2-9 conference record. Kenpom.com has a 94% win prediction for the Mountaineers, which goes to show just how lopsided this game ought to be.

Kansas and Oklahoma also square off on Saturday, which means that with a victory over TCU, WVU will sit at a two-way tie atop the Big 12 conference. There's still a lot of work to do, but I like where these Mounties stand in mid February.

Prediction

WVU 94
TCU 77