After shooting well for the majority of the beginning of the season, WVU has cooled down considerably in its first two Big 12 losses of the season to No. 9 Oklahoma State and Texas - especially from the 3-point line.
In those two games, the Mountaineers (who currently sit at third in the Big 12 Conference in 3-point field goal percentage) has made 12 of 46 shots from beyond the arc - including making only four of their 25 attempts tries against Texas. West Virginia is shooting just 32.9 percent (27-of-82) in its last two games, 13 percent worse than the team's current field goal percentage this season.
And if WVU wants to get out of that funk, and back into the win column, Saturday, it will have its hands full by traveling to Manhattan, Kansas, to take on Kansas State. It's a game that will be a challenge, but one that head coach Bob Huggins thinks could be in his team's grasp if it can knock down shots - especially from the perimeter.
"If we could ever get our guys that are capable of making shots, if we could ever get all of them making shots at one time, we could really spread people out," Huggins said. "If Nate (Adrian) would start to shoot the ball the way we think he's capable and Remi (Dibo) and Terry (Henderson) and Eron (Harris) ... For that matter, even Devin (Williams) has shown he can be a pretty consistent 15-, 16-foot jump-shooter."
Coming into Saturday's game, the Wildcats are No. 1 in the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing 60.1 points per game. In its three conference victories of the season, Kansas State is holding teams to an average of 18 points below their current season averages. An 86-point performance by Kansas, which resulted in a 86-60 loss for KSU, was the only time the Wildcats have let a Big 12 team score more points than it is averaging.
"Scoring average is, a lot of times, related to how fast you play," Huggins said. "It's not that they don't get out and run when they have opportunities, but they don't play as fast as some other people play. So there aren't as many possessions in games.
"They do a great job. They gang-guard you. If they're going to give up anything, it's going to be perimeter shots."