The Mountaineers sneaked past Oakland on Wednesday night to climb back to .500, and this weekend they look to get another win under their belt as they take on Radford this afternoon at the Coliseum.
The Highlanders (5-6) are a deep team with nine players averaging over 13 minutes a game. They have lost three in a row and currently rank 180th in the country or worse in most offensive categories. West Virginia (5-5), meanwhile, is looking to pick up their second win during this three-game home stand that ends next week against Eastern Kentucky.
The game begins at 4:00PM and can be seen on ROOT Sports.
Below are three keys to West Virginia securing victory over Radford this afternoon.
1. Shut down Javonte Green - Radford is typically a two-headed monster of forward Javonte Green and guard R.J. Price. However, Price turned an ankle earlier this week, sat out the Highlanders' last game and is questionable for today's contest. That leaves Green, who is leading the team with 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. He'll step out and shoot a jumper, but that's not his game. He does most of his damage around the basket, shooting 55% from the field. Aaric Murray will get the call here - and I expect him to answer.
2. Be smart with the ball - In West Virginia's five victories, they've turned the ball over an average of less than ten times per game. In the Mountaineers' five losses, they've averaged 13 turnovers a night. Being smart with the ball doesn't stop there, though. Many of their passes don't turn into turnovers, but they get tipped or mishandled because the ball wasn't delivered properly.
3. Set screens and run off them properly - This may not be so much a key to this particular game, but would have given WVU a couple more wins already and will help them down the road. On offense, the big men (or whoever is setting the screen) is setting up properly, but the man with the ball or the guy cutting off the screen is not setting up their man and coming off the screen shoulder to shoulder. It's lazy play and it allows the defender to stay on his man and stagnates West Virginia's offense. A motion offense is no good if every perimeter player floats off screens several feet apart and just hopes they're open. They need to cut with a purpose and be looking for the ball.
For those in attendance and those watching at home, come join us to talk about the game and make your predictions in our official game thread.