MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Devin Williams didn’t let a 1-of-3 shooting night against Division II Fairmont State hurt his confidence in the post.

“I know there’s not a player in the country that can guard me one-on-one down there,” Williams said in advance of Friday night’s season opener against Mount Saint Mary’s.

Bob Huggins raised an eyebrow at that comment, though he admitted West Virginia needs to feed the 6-9 freshman more than it did during the exhibition.

“We’ve got to throw him the ball more than what we did,” Huggins said. “I think we only threw it to him twice in the post.”

Williams, a four-star recruit out of Cincinnati via Montverde, Fla., found other ways to touch the ball: by grabbing a slew of rebounds.

“They said I had 14, but I counted 15,” said Williams, who feels he’s has a 20- or 30-rebound game within his grasp. We’ll see if that happens tonight at the WVU Coliseum, where tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.


Coach: 31-year-old Jamion Christian—only 701 victories behind Bob Huggins—was part of Shaka Smart’s staff at VCU in 2012 when the Rams won 29 games and reached the NCAA round of 32. He’s also an alum of The Mount, where he was a three-year captain.

Last season: Mount Saint Mary’s finished 18-14, winning nine straight games to race into NCAA tournament contention before losing to LIU-Brooklyn in the Northeast Conference championship game.

This season: The mid-major Mountaineers are picked sixth in their league’s preseason poll, while WVU was tabbed seventh in the Big 12.

Style points: Christian calls his full-court pressing style “Mayhem,” though we’ll see if the hand-checking crackdown tempers some of that aggressiveness. MSM likes to hoist 3-pointers—it set school records, in fact, last season, for 3s attempted (811) and made (274). West Virginia clearly seems to be transitioning into a perimeter team as well, given the limited frontline players, so tonight’s game might be decided from long-distance.

Top players: George Mason transfer Rashad Whack, who led MSM with 13.9 points last season, is an active 6-foot-3 senior who scored 26 to bounce Robert Morris from the conference tourney. (That was two weeks before Robert Morris ambushed Kentucky in the NIT.) … Sam Prescott (11.1) and Julian Norfleet (10.8) complete the veteran guard trio.

Like a lot of small-league teams, Mount Saint Mary’s inside game can be exploited: 6-10 Croatian senior Kristikjan Krajina averaged only 3.5 rebounds, and 7-footer Taylor Danaher (at a slight 215 pounds) shouldn’t give much resistance for Devin Williams.

WVU roster notes: Terry Henderson (shin inflammation) remained in a walking boot early Friday, making his status for tonight questionable. Remi Dibo’s court time could be limited also after playing only the final two minutes of Monday’s exhibition game in a return from knee surgery.

Line: West Virginia favored by 11.5

Prediction: WVU 75-65

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  • Jay

    Well, in his quest for 20 or 30 rebounds per game, Williams began by grabbing ONE against Mount St. Mary's.

    Less talking. More working.

  • pghmountaineer

    Big tom,
    I have no idea where to listen to the game. The whole thing is out of wack this year. It's not even on WAJR on the internet anymore.
    What's up with that.

  • big tom

    I am struggling to find out if this game is being broadcast through wv , ohio, and pa....can't see it listed in t he wheeling area

  • MoMoney

    How about a 2013-2014 mens basketball schedule under the "Schedules" tab? It might be helpful to see what, and how many patsy cupcakes WVU has scheduled this year. Delete the 2012-2013 schedule. Delete that season from our memories.

    • Allan Taylor

      Updated schedule is active guys. Sorry for the delay — won't make you relive last season.

    • GoEers

      they scheduled cupcakes like Gonzaga, Purdue, Kansas and a couple of other preseason ranked big 12 teams which they will play twice

      • Jay

        I agree. There's nothing wrong with this year's schedule. Kansas twice. Oklahoma State twice. Oklahoma twice. Texas twice. Kansas State twice. Gonzaga, Purdue, and even Virginia Tech. The possibility of playing Wisconsin in their Thanksgiving week tournament. A challenging slate.

        Should be fun. Go Mountaineers!

  • Jay

    Sounds like a real humble guy. (Sarcasm thickly applied.)

    Just what WVU needs - another talker. Do something, succeed with humility, repeat. Not enough Barry Sanders out there.

    • Jay

      And before you say it, I have no problem with the kid thinking it. Saying it is a different animal. It's called "quiet confidence" for a reason.