11 days after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech, the Oklahoma Sooners are set to host yet another ranked opponent as the No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers come into the LNC for a Big 12 showdown. This also represents the first of three consecutive top-10 opponents to open the new calendar year.
Ringing in 2021 with three straight matchups against top-10 teams...so why not go get it?#Sooners host No. 9 West Virginia tomorrow at 3:00 on ESPN2.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) January 1, 2021
Oklahoma Sooners (5-2, 1-1 Big 12) vs. West Virginia (8-2, 1-1 Big 12): 3 p.m. CT at the Lloyd Noble Center
Commentary: Ted Emrich and Bryndon Manzer
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Sports Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Tune In Radio App) with Chad McKee and Kevin Henry announcing
Line: Oklahoma -1.5 (as of 2:00 p.m. CT)
About West Virginia
- This likely won’t shock you, but the grinding mentality of Bob Huggins and West Virginia is very much present in 2020-21, with the Mountaineers ranking No. 13 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency and No. 276 in adjusted tempo (both per KenPom). This team has also been efficient on the offensive end, sitting at 20th nationally in that regard.
- The ‘Eers are led on offense by guard Miles McBride, who is averaging 14.8 PPG and 4.1 APG. The straw that stirs the drink, however, is big man Derek Culver, who is averaging 14.1 PPG and 9.9 RPG on the season.
- West Virginia’s two losses on the season have come to No. 1 Gonzaga (Dec. 2) and No. 3 Kansas (Dec. 22). The Mountaineers’ wins include then-No. 19 Richmond, Iowa State and Georgetown.
One Big Thing
- Brady Manek the X-factor: OU can’t succeed offensively when Manek has one of his off days. That was absolutely the case against Texas Tech, as he went 1/7 from the field and finished with two points. Throughout has career, the Sooners are rarely defeated when he’s at his most confident, so it will be incredibly important for him to have his mind right for this one. Hopefully the long layoff provided some help in this regard.
OU bounces back for a 72-68 victory.