Hoops Notebook: Skinny on West Virginia

This week's Red Raider hoops notebook includes a preview of Monday's matchup against the Mountaineers, a look at freshman point guard Keenan Evans' progression, postgame presser footage from Saturday and more.

The Mountaineers (13-1 1-0), Tech’s next opponent, are led by combo guard Juwan Staten who averages 16 points, 4 assists and three rebounds per game. He’s as good a player as there is in the Big 12. When Tech is in a man defense, look for Randy Onwuasor to check Staten. 6-foot-9 255-pound Devin Williams leads WVU in rebounds with just over seven per game. He also scores 10 points per outing. Point guard Jevan Carter has an assist/turnover ratio that is just over 3-to-1. Jaysean Page is West Virginia’s deadliest 3-point shooter, connecting on 49 percent of his attempts from that range. And Gary Browne is one of the better defensive guards in the Big 12.

The Mountaineers are a plus-seven rebounding club, have 45 more assists than turnovers, and have forced 317 turnovers while allowing only 155 assists. WVU also has 187 steals while giving up only 65 steals to opponents.

The Mountaineers are coming off of a 78-67 road win over TCU (the Frogs’ first loss of the season), and have wins over Boston College, Connecticut, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State. West Virginia’s only loss was a 74-73 setback to LSU in Morgantown.

Where Is He Now? Dejan Kravic, a native of Mostar, Serbia who matriculated through the Tech basketball program last season, is now playing professional basketball for OEM Rethymno Aegean in the Greek A1 league. Kravic starts at center for Rethymno (7-4), and averages eight points and seven rebounds per game. Former University of Texas swing-man Reggie Freeman is an alumnus of OEM Rethymno.

Keenan Evans Catching On: As of the present, Keenan Evans leads all Tech guards in field goal percentage (45%), free throw percentage (83%), and 3-point percentage (38%). To the extent that Tubby Smith needs more firepower in the lineup, expect Evans’ minutes to increase as the season wears on.

Tenacious D from Tech: Out of 345 D-1 college basketball teams, the Red Raiders currently rank No. 33 in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 37.8 percent shooting from the floor. That number puts Tech between Temple and St. John’s.

Big 12 Power Rankings:
1. West Virginia (13-1, 1-0)
2. Texas (12-2, 1-0)
3. Kansas (11-2, 0-0)
4. Oklahoma (10-3, 1-0)
5. Iowa State (10-2, 0-0)
6. Baylor (11-2, 0-2)
7. Oklahoma State (11-2, 1-0)
8. TCU (13-1, 0-1)
9. Texas Tech (10-4, 0-1)
10. Kansas State (7-7, 0-1)

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