THREE KEYS TO A LONGHORNS VICTORY:
Take care of the rock - West Virginia is as effective with it's full court press as any team in the country. They average 11.4 steals per game, which is three steals more than any other team in the conference. It's a big reason why the Mountaineers also lead the Big 12 in scoring defense at 63. 8 points per game. So Texas - Isaiah Taylor, Demarcus Holland, Kerwin Roach - have to take care of the ball. It's a simple concept, but a tough task. If UT doesn't it's going to get ugly, quick.
Box Out - WVU loves to get out in transition. They do a great job of moving the ball up the court with the pass instead of the dribble. That comes from gaining possession on the defensive end and getting the ball moving. The Mountaineers are a great rebounding team, out-rebounding opponents by 10 boards per contest. Texas' rebounding margin? Dead last in the Big 12 at 0.1. It's going to take a team effort to put a body on every Mountaineer in the piant, to try to slow them down.
Don't Play Like Freshmen - Lately, Kerwin Roach, Tevin Mack and Eric Davis haven't been playing like freshmen and that needs to remain the case tonight. The Longhorns have been rolling offensively in large part to the talented trio. They have to get their shot to fall early in order to have that confidence late. Davis and Roach combined for 23 points in Texas' win over Oklahoma State on Saturday. It was Roach's first game in double-figures since the Stanford win in early December. They've got to produce. It can't be all on Isaiah Taylor.
Texas (11-6, 3-2 Big 12) at #6/7 West Virginia (15-2, 4-1 Big 12)
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 - 6 p.m. Central
WVU Coliseum (14,000) - Morgantown, W. Va.
GameDay Quick Facts
• Television: The game will be televised nationally by ESPNU. Clay Matvick (pxp) and Tim Welsh (analyst) will call the action.
• Radio: The Longhorn IMG Radio Network broadcast every UT game on the statewide network. Craig Way (pxp) and Eddie Oran (analyst) will call the action. Check www.TexasSports.com for a listing of affiliates carrying the game.
• Series: Texas leads, 6-4. Last meeting: West Virginia 71-64 (Feb. 24, 2015; Morgantown).
• BACK-TO-BACK ROAD GAMES vs. TOP 10: Texas faces a pair of AP Top 10 opponents on the road this week in No. 6 West Virginia (Wed.) and No. 3 Kansas (Sat.). This marks the first time since the 2011-12 season that the Horns have played back-to-back games against opponents in The AP Top 10 and the first time in program history that UT has played consecutive teams in the Top 10 in true road contests.
• TAYLOR ON A ROLL: Junior point guard Isaiah Taylor earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Monday. In five Big 12 league contests, Taylor has averaged 22.2 ppg while hitting 50.7 percent (38-of-75) from the floor and 81.6 percent (31-of-38) from the free throw line. He also sports a 24-to-6 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play.
• PROTECTING THE ROCK: Texas has committed just 19 total turnovers (6.3 tpg) in its last three contests entering Wednesday's game at No. 6/7 West Virginia. The Horns had 6 turnovers at TCU (Jan. 9), 5 in the OT win against No. 17/18 Iowa State (Jan. 12) and 8 in Saturday's win vs. Oklahoma State (Jan. 16).