Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Texas guard Javan Felix (3) leads a fast break against Oklahoma State during the Longhorns’ 87-68 win Tuesday.

 

AUSTIN, Texas — The most striking element of Saturday night’s West Virginia-Texas rematch is how the profiles of both teams have improved since the first meeting in Morgantown.

Texas used that 80-69 win on Jan. 13 as a springboard into Big 12 title contention, whereas West Virginia—still reeling that night from a loss to Oklahoma State 48 hours earlier—repaired its psyche enough to become an NCAA at-large candidate.

Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins views the second meeting with No. 19 Texas as “a great chance to move up in the Big 12 standings, and a great chance to move up in the RPI.” Leaning on history to convey how close his team is to reaching its postseason goal, Huggins said only five or six Big 12 teams have had an RPI in the 50s and been left out of the NCAA field.

West Virginia’s RPI entering Saturday was 66, substantially better than the high-80s mark it brought into the first game against Texas. Huggins said his team’s mindset has improved as much as its RPI.

“I’m not trying go make an excuse, but I think we had a hangover” in the first meeting, Huggins said. “The guys had put so much in (the Oklahoma State game) and thought they should have won the game, and I don’t think we bounced back very well.”

Indeed, Texas dominated from the midpoint of the first half, eventually building a 21-point lead before WVU made the final score respectable. But the Mountaineers have played defense more to their coach’s liking in the interim.

“We’re better because our understanding is better,” Huggins said. “(The players) have been able to experience more.”

SCOUTING TEXAS
Tipoff: Saturday, 8 p.m. in Austin (Longhorn Network)
Records: The Longhorns (19-5, 8-3) dominated WVU 80-69 on Jan. 13, part of a seven-game league winning streak that included a triumph over Kansas. … West Virginia (15-10, 7-5) has zoomed into NCAA contention by winning four of five games.
RPIs: Texas is No. 22 and WVU is No. 66.
Coach: The rumors of Rick Barnes’ demise were exaggerated as Barnes (579-294 overall) has lifted Texas back into Big 12 title contention. Texas is headed to its 15th NCAA berth in 16 seasons. His record since coming to Austin in 1998-99 stands at a robust 377-160.
Texas top players: Javan Felix (12.4 points per game) sank career-high six 3-pointers in a 27-point effort against Oklahoma State on Tuesday night. The fullback-shaped point guard scored 19 on 8-of-13 shooting against WVU in the first meeting. “He scores off the bounce, he’s a good 3-point shooter, he’s strong and he’s got a great base,” Huggins said. “He can play point or he can play off the ball.” … Bulky sophomore center Cameron Ridley (10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks) had a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double in Morgantown. However, he’s only 13-of-36 from the floor in his last five games. …  Leading scorer Jonathan Holmes (13.1 points, 7.3 rebounds) sat out Tuesday’s 87-68 win over OSU with a knee injury. HIs status for the WVU game remains unclear. Huggins anticipates Holmes being available: “We heal everybody. We’re the Earnest Angley of basketball.” … True freshman point guard Isaiah Taylor (12.5 points, 3.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds) has been on an 18.8 scoring binge the past five games.
WVU roster notes: Eron Harris (17.4 points) was ejected late in Monday’s win over Iowa State for a flagrant 2 foul. That appears to be the extent of his punishment, meaning he should be available for Texas. The sophomore endured his worst performance of the season (six points on 3-of-11 shooting) in the first meeting with the Longhorns. … With Marcus Smart suspended for three games and facing PR deductions, Juwan Staten (18.3 points, 6.0 assists, 5.9 rebounds) might have become the frontrunner for Big 12 player of the year honors. He was among the lone bright spots against UT lat month, scoring 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and committing only one turnover. …  Terry Henderson (12.2 points) has made only 5-of-20 shots in his last three road games. … Remi Dibo (7.8 points, 41-percent 3-point shooter) sank a season-high six 3s against Iowa State. … Devin Williams (8.4 points, 7.0 rebounds) hasn’t scored in double figures in nine games and his field-goal percent has dipped to 40 percent.
Line: Texas favored by 6.
Prediction: Texas 77-70
bubble graphic

61

bubble graphic

Comments

  • The Wisetalkerw

    I watch many of the WVU games on firstrowsports.eu...

    You have to be careful however and learn how to use it otherwise you get viruses.

    You need Firefox and then you have to download the Firefox ADBLOCKER.

    1. You can use Internet Explorer but it is not recommended.

    2. It takes a while to get used to and the clarity is not real good but it is better than nothing.

    3. I would recommend using an old computer in case you get a virus. In the past 2 years I have gotten 4 viruses but they are easy to get rid of...

    Just sayin...

  • just me

    One of the reasons Missouri and A & M left the Big 12 was over the Longhorn network so I guess somehow thats Ollie's fault too. Root sports tried to get the game but the Longhorn Network would not release it.

  • FFA Mountianeer

    Search for firstrowsports.eu. It a website out of Europe that streams games. I've been told it is safe and download or buy anything. And if you are near Morgantown Kegler's is showing it somehow.

    • FFA Mountianeer

      I meant DON'T download or buy anything.

  • Alex

    A friend of mine who lives in Michigan is originally from Logan West Virginia said there is a radio station in Logan who carries West Virginia sports on it and it is on the Internet free . The call letters are WVOW F M , Logan, West Virginia. He said they have live broadcasting I cannot verify that but that is what he said. Hope maybe that will help some of you all. Good Luck .

    • TIG

      "Tune In" app on your smart devices. You're able to listen to most WV stations who carry IMG and WVRC programming. Most radio stations have "listen live" on their web pages too. If all else fails, just look up the radio stations who broadcast Texas games and listen to one of them on-line. There are also alternatives to Firstrowsports too. But be careful.

  • winston

    it would be wonderful to watch this game I am stuck at home can't get to my cabin in the woods to do any work but when it is over and if we win I will go out and roll in the 20 inches of snow go eers

  • tw eagle

    how the Mounties managed to lose the OSU game ( leading by 2 / with possession & only 45 sec left) really pointed out how poorly the offense was working as a TEAM . . . after the debacle at K St these Mounties talked things over and have made a U-turn in their season . . .

    there's nobody in the XII this Mountaineer team can't beat . . .BELIEVE . . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

  • richard

    the game not being on tv has nothing to do with Luck. it's a game with texas---they own their own network. they picked this game as one of the games they can show on the longhorn network. they don't have to share it with anyone. this was a big issue with the other teams in the big 12-----so if you don't know what you're talking about----just drop it and say nothing!! makes you look less stupid.

    • Happy Mountie

      Everything has something to do with Luck. What idiot AD who is in charge of the Athletic Department and representing the FANS OF WVU doesn't review programming before the season and force them to make some concession. There were dozens of solutions to this issue but Luck and his no comment administrative team didn't take the initiative to do something about it. Why? Because they don't give a crap. So don't brink your Oliver Luck butt kissing attitude to this site and call people stupid until you take a long hard look in the mirror!

      • Wenkev

        Force Texas to do something, yeah right! What an idiotic statement!

  • Mike

    No matter the reason for no TV coverage, it stinks.

  • SamWvu304

    WHAT IS THAT IN THE "E" OF TEXAS!!!! Look at the picture above!!!Oh my...and they say we are weird in Wv...thats a Whoa-man..or is it?..lol. steers n queers.. Lets Goooo Mountaineers!!! Bring back those LongHorns of that lazy cow so Huggs can put em on his hood. Then we can call him BOSS HUGGS and the. General Juwan.

  • The Wisetalker

    No TV for one of WVU's biggest games of the season?

    It's "Ollie's Follies" rearing its ugly head once again...

    And yes...I know...

    Those toads on Ollie's payroll will be by to call me a "Marshall Troll"...

    • The Wisetalker

      You can listen to the game on the internet or radio...that is if you can find it on the internet or the radio...

      But then again, you can always listen to the game on your telephone...

      Here's an idea...

      Kentucky and Florida are playing and yes...you can watch that game tonight on ESPN...9 PM

      You can watch that game while you listen to the WVU game on your telephone...

      • earl

        or u could just get on the wonderful world of the internet and watch it...

        • The Wisetalkerw

          Its not that easy...

          • earl

            it is if u know what ur doing

      • Dave

        Who gives a crap about FLorida or Kentucky when there's a Mountaineer game on.

    • Aaron

      I don't think your a Marshall troll. I just wonder why you cannot comprehend the simple fact that Texas is televising this game exclusively under their third tier rights and there's nothing Luck or WVU can do about it.

      In doing so, TLHN is lobbying WV fans to demand local providers add THLN to their packages so WV fans don't miss out on future televised events. Minus that, I believe you can access the game online for a fee.

      It's actually a smart marketing ploy given the way WV is playing lately.

      Is that really so hard to grasp?

      • mad hatter

        i really really concur

      • Happy Mountie

        Is the term media rights negotiation so hard for YOU to grasp? Bottom line is someone needed to sit down with TLHN, reiterate the point that this is unacceptable to the local fans and find a solution. That's what Athletic Directors and Departments do, they represent their organizations' best interests. At least the one's that care do. This is BS. But not a problem....you can always gather the fam around the radio, try and find some static laden IMG licensee and do your best to hear the game. If you're lucky, the game won't be too long and the kids will have a chance to catch Little Orphan Annie or Zorro before bed.

        • Aaron

          I understand why Texas denied the request.

          • mad hatter

            i really really really concur

    • Alex

      Texas got its own TV network and was not going to share with the rest of the League in revenue, and that is why Texas AM left the League. Also Texas got the biggest revenue from other TV networks and so on . Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Missouri, that is why they left. That left 8, so they needed 2 teams TCU, West Virginia got the invite to cove the gap to make a 10 team league. The big 12 Justabout totally disappeared was on its way until Texas approved to split the money from TV stations evenly. They call their shelves Longhorns. To me they should be called greedy hogs. They just about destroy the big 12.... Enough said.

  • steve

    What does Luck have to do with the longhorn network? That's a Big 12 issue with the tv.

  • rd

    barry, or mr positive as known by all, enjoy the good vibes....lets go eeers!

  • Barry

    I think it is amazing how some of you are so quick to jump to the defense of Oliver Luck and Bob Huggins, but last year when the players were getting bashed by the fans and the coach very few, if any, came to thier defense. A person is a Marshal Troll or on welfare or lives in his momas basement if he speaks a word against these guys, but last year they could talk about Staten like he was a dog and now they are "True Fans".
    We lost at least 8 guys from this program in previous years, some of which could really help our chances now. What a shame.

    It will be hard to make a run in any tournament due to our lack of depth and inside presence, but I think our guards can play with anyone in the country. It will be interesting to see how the year unfolds. Hopefully alot more wins.

    • Billy

      Well said. I get so tired of seeing Marshall, moms basement true fan, etc in some post. The ones that put these type of comments are simple minded.

  • Leroy j Gibbs

    Any one know the channel in c larksburg area?

  • JimJim

    No TV, who cares. What happened to the great Lucky media deal! Oh yes, just try to find it on radio. lol

    • B A Winner

      There's no control over The Longhorn Network numbskulls. Call up ESPN or the Big 12 Network and complain to them for not picking up the game. You all know that. Show your ignorance to them not to people who read theses articles. As if WV doesn't have a negative enough image as it is.

      Anyone who owns a computer or cellphone and has trouble picking up a game is truly an idiot. Most radio stations have web pages over which you can listen to their over the air content. There's also an app called "Tune In" on your smart phone where you can listen to just about any IMG or WVRC station broadcast. It will just take the effort to do a little research you dummies!

    • Aaron

      Texas has utilized their third tier rights to televise this game exclusively on their Long Horn network as is their rights under their Big 12 contract. This has nothing to do with AD Luck.