The Oklahoma Sooners currently sit at No. 2 in the rankings with the top spot in sight. However, they'll have to contend with the West Virginia Mountaineers who took down the No. 1 team in the country earlier this week.
Losing a player like Juwan Staten leaves a major hole to fill in scoring. Yet, Devin Williams returned and is having quite the successful junior campaign. Leading the team in scoring, Williams puts up 14.7 points per game to go along side 8.8 rebounds. With four others scoring seven or more points each outing, the Mountaineers have options on the offensive side of the court.
In the past, Bob Huggins built teams around a physical and defensive style of play. However, after joining the Big XII, WVU failed to win consistently collecting 30 wins over two seasons. Something needed to change. Recognizing a different style of play in the Big XII, Coach Huggins scrapped the old philosophy and went back to the drawing board producing "Press Virginia." The change paid off as the Mountaineers earned a spot in the Sweet Sixteen a year ago.
Defensively, the Mountaineers look to press each and every program to cause havoc by taking risks and forcing turnovers. It's a tough defense to prepare for. Utilizing length and athleticism, WVU has forced opponents to turn the ball over 334 times through 15 games. That's 22.6 times per game on average if you're counting.
The Big XII possesses the nation's top two 3-point shooting teams. But...West Virginia is not one of them connecting on 31.3% of their attempts as a team. While the effort ranks 295th in the nation, that's the beauty of "Press Virginia." The Mountaineers don't need to take a ton of three point shots to build a lead as long as they are forcing turnovers. If an opponent finds a way to consistent break the press, the 'Eers could find themselves in a bit of trouble.