Earlier this year, Oklahoma and West Virginia met in rare non-conference matchup at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida. The spoils to the winner included a third place finish in a decent field as the Oklahoma Sooners prevailed 77-70. This time around, the neutral site will be removed as the West Virginia Mountaineers will play host at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, WV. Who will start off conference play with a win?
On the season, the Mountaineers boast a 5-0 record at home. It continues to be Deniz Kilicli setting the tone physically as the most recognized WVU player on this roster. Bob Huggins teams have a distinct style of play and has become known as a team that centers around physicality. However, it will be transfer Juwan Staten leading the way in terms of scoring. Staten currently averages 11.1 points per game to go along with 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
Behind him is Aaric Murray, the only other Mountaineer to average in double-digits with 10.4 points per game. It is Murray's strong suit that could give Oklahoma a bit of trouble on the road...rebounding. This is a kid who is pulling down a team high 7.8 boards a game in route to the 38.9 average as a team and is the second of three transfers on the roster.
Coming off the bench, WVU is getting a steady supply of scoring out of Gary Browne. In 21.4 mintues of play per game, Browne is pouring in 9 points per game while becoming the third leading scorer on this team.
While this may look like a familiar matchup, Oklahoma as well as West Virginia have changed as teams.
The last time these two met, Amath M'Baye put up a season high 19 points. That was long before he hit a slump and Buddy Hield was inserted into the starting five. Defense has taken on strong with the group while the offense is coming along. How will OU fair in a hostile environment on the level of Morgantown? Confidence is with this Sooners squad but we shall find out today at 3:00 PM CST.