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Next season West Virginia is headed back to Madison Square Garden, the site of numerous Big East tournament memories. The Mountaineers will face N.C. State on Dec. 20.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Bob Huggins confirmed West Virginia will face N.C. State at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 20, saying “we need to have a presence there.”

The recruiting grounds of New York and surrounding area are fertile, and Huggins wants to make sure West Virginia remains visible there. Since leaving the Big East for the Big 12 two seasons ago, West Virginia has only returned to the Big Apple once, to face Michigan in Barclays Center in December 2012.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

N.C. State returns guard Ralston Turner and four other players with Division I starting experience next season.

“We have a great alumni base in New York and especially in New Jersey. Our fan base really enjoyed the Big East tournament,” Huggins said.

“And the game’s at a great time, right before Christmas. There’s nothing better than taking your wife shopping in New York before Christmas right?”

The Wolfpack finished 22-14 last season, squeezing into the NCAA tournament where they beat Xavier 74-59 in Dayton before losing to Saint Louis 83-80 in overtime. Sophomore forward T.J. Warren, the ACC Player of the Year and nation’s third-leading scorer at 24.9 points per game, subsequently entered the NBA draft. Another sophomore, top assist man Tyler Lewis, transferred to Butler.

But Mark Gottfried has four players with starting experience returning—a fifth if you count Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey—and three incoming recruits ranked among the nation’s top 81 prospects by Rivals.

West Virginia’s nonconference schedule features a road game at Purdue, and a three-game set at the Puerto Rico Tipoff, where the field includes UConn, Dayton, New Mexico, Texas A&M, Boston College, George Mason and College of Charleston. The Mountaineers also have a home matchup against Virginia Tech and a home game as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge.

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  • jdwvu

    Did you inadvertently leave out the Marshall game at CCC or is it not confirmed?

  • Gary

    Saw where Texas has signed the #2 ranked player in the nation, 5-star Myles Turner. 7 footer with a 7' 3' wind span that can play inside or outside. With everyone back from last year, that will be a tough match up for anyone.

    • Dave

      That will give Texas pretty good depth at center adding Turner. They already have Ridley and Ibeh. Ridley really give us fits last year. Hopefully we can counter with the addition of Holton and Macon. Devin Williams got a lot better at the end of the season and had some monster games. He'll be much improved this year. Hopefully Brandon Watkins puts on some weight and gets stronger during the off season.

      • Gary

        He will not play center. He is more like Kevin Durant. Can shoot 3's as well as play the inside game & a hell of a shot blocker.

  • Mister Man

    Good move, Coach.

  • VaultHunter

    It is always cool to see WVU play in the garden no matter when or why. I think that the most success we have had in recent years was attributed to players from the New York area. There is a vast amount of talent in that are and we need to get back to recruiting that area predominantly. I said before we faced Kentucky in the 2010 tournament that Kentucky is loaded with talent but our team is full of kids who grew up playing in places like Rucker Park. And those kind of players are some of the best to ever play the game.

    Another stellar move by one of the best AD's in the country. Thank you Mr. Luck decisions like these are a sign of how much he is valued by WVU. Atleast we can hire a new coach without screwing things up and having people laugh at us because we hire the brother of the real coach we want and the better of the two.

    Huggins you better have them ready to play we don't need you taking us to NYC and embarrassing our wonderful state on national television.

    Lets Go Mountaineers!

    Marshall something anything of importance...please. You guys make our state look bad...thank God most people outside of WV don't know that Marshall is located in WV.

    • interesting

      Now which school is fixated on which?

    • GoEers

      Excellent post!

  • WPofONE

    This sounds like a good game and time to be had. Glad to hear we are getting the band back together.

    Always enjoy playing WV and getting to talk junk to my boys up there....or having them give me hell if it doesn't go so well for the Pack.

    Go Pack.

  • jay zoom

    looks to me like another one and done on Huggins resume N.C. State will clean WVU's clock and send huggins back to the basics once again. THANKS OLLIE

    • the real truth

      @jayzoom: You are an idiot, always have been and always will be an idiot. You are dumber than stump water. Do the world a favor and stop breathing good oxygen that is better used by anyone else.

    • Dave

      I really hope that's a haters comment because I would hate to think you're that stupid.
      Have a nice day.

      • GoEers

        Jay Zoom is a hater and not very smart....stupid would be putting it mildly

  • WVU fan in Boston

    It is about time, the Big12 territory is not a natural recruiting area especially for BB.
    NYC metro, Maryland/DC, Philly are the hot spots. WVU needs more games in those areas, even a Big12 match or two at the Garden or DC area each would be a huge benefit. Out of site / out of mind for the potential recruits in this area.
    I used to go to UConn or Providence to watch my EERs play BB.

    • JJ

      Recruiting has little value if you can't get guys to qualify, stay out of trouble....or even stay with the program.

      This is a sore subject for all WVU fans.

      • GoEers

        Not a sore subject at all. Players getting in trouble/transferring happen to all schools including Michigan. I bring up Michigan because it seems like there are a ton of Michigan basketball fans aka: WVU haters that show up on this board. Just this week Michigan has a player transfer to Florida and another player banned for a year for failing a drug test during the NCAA tourney.


    WVU playing in the Garden and WVU will be on the visitors side in the Garden against the (ACC) the league that broke up the Big East... (wow)

    If I remember correctly NC State has a Kid that is 400 lbs and a wing span of someone of 7'9" tall,
    Yes, he does have trouble running the court but once he is there...

    I wonder who on our team will match up with this kid.... ( I feel its not a good match up for WVU) Great challenge for our coaches and kids!!

    Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Mountaineeeeeeers!!!!!

  • Jake

    Cant have too many games in the garden those ny / jersey guys

  • Rick55

    Nice top photo. That was a good team.

  • Wondering

    Wonder who the SEC tam is?

  • richard

    i miss the big east (basketball)....but glad we are where we are at too. could be outside looking in!

  • Dave

    Lots of good memories in the Garden. Can't wait.


  • john b

    As a WVU Alum and Jerry West Society Donor from NJ glad to see the team playing a game locally. Now hopefully that translates into a recruit or two from NY or NJ.

  • GoEers

    Very nice! I can't wait to get back to the Garden. Still have a lot of great memories from the 2010 run to the Big East title.