The West Virginia University men’s basketball team’s five-game home stand begins at 7 p.m. Friday when the Mountaineers host Eastern Kentucky in a non-conference contest.
The only loss for the Colonels (5-1), coached by former Marshall player A.W. Hamilton, was a 79-78 setback against James Madison on Nov. 16. EKU’s wins this year have come against Georgetown (Ky.), Ohio Valley, Milwaukee, Albany and, most recently, Eastern Illinois on Monday night.
“They’re going to press and shoot a bunch of 3s,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins, now fourth in NCAA history in Division I wins with 904. He recently passed Roy Williams and now only trails Mike Kryzyewski, Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun. “A.W. does a great job with the way they play. And the way they play is they want to play fast, they want to turn you over and they want to shoot 3s.”
Michael Moreno, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound sophomore from Georgetown, Kentucky, leads Eastern Kentucky in scoring (13.3 points per gamed), rebounding (8.0), field goal shooting (52.6%) and steals (14).
Former Marshall player Jannson Williams, a 6-9, 221-pound senior forward, is averaging 11.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while 6-6 wing Devontae Blanton averages of 10 points and 4.7 rebounds.
Eastern Kentucky has already taken 211 3-point shots and is scoring 85 points per game. “It won’t be a fun game for me, but it should be a fun game for the fans to watch,” Huggins said.
WVU (4-1) rallied to defeat Clemson 66-59 in the third-place game of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic in last Sunday Charleston, South Carolina.
WVU guard Sean McNeil scored all of his team-high 15 points in the second half, including some late free throws to hold off the Tigers. Guard Taz Sherman, despite being held to a season-low 12 points, earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors for his performances in the Mountaineers’ other two games in Charleston. The senior scored 21 in an 82-71 loss to Marquette on Friday night after tallying a season-high 27 in a 19-point victory over Elon.
Sherman leads the team with 19 points per game, although he is shooting just 38.2% from the floor. He’s made just 6 of his 29 3-pointers (20.7%).
McNeil is scoring 13 points per game while 6-7 sophomore forward Jalen Bridges is averaging 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds.
West Virginia’s home stand includes games against Bellarmine (Nov. 30), Radford (Dec. 4), 22nd-ranked Connecticut (Dec. 8) and Kent State (Dec. 12).