West Virginia Looks To Remain Atop Big 12, Sweep TCU For Fourth Straight Season

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia faces an improving TCU team in a must-have game if the No. 10 Mountaineers are going to challenge for the Big 12 championship down the stretch.

"They said that, as one of their goals, they want to win a league championship," head coach Bob Huggins said when asked if he brought up last season's tougher-than-expected, overtime home win over Texas Christian. "I don't think we need to talk about those kind of things if that is indeed the case."

At 19-5 overall, 8-3 in the league, West Virginia is in position to do just that as it plays host to a TCU team that is 0-7 in the series all-time. And while Trent Johnson's team has shown improvement, namely in the play of guards Chauncey Collins (10.5 ppg, 40.5 3Pt%) and Malique Trent (11 ppg, 3 apg), the Horned Frogs are struggling with turnovers and consistent scoring. TCU's 68 points per game average ranks last in the Big 12, and it is the only league team to have allowed more points than it has scored this season.

The Horned Frogs are also last in field goal percentage (41.1 percent), rebounding and rebounding margin, and second-to-last in field goal percentage defense and assists. After winning nine of 13 nonconference games, TCU is just 2-9 in Big 12 play, and tied with Oklahoma State for last place in the league at 11-13 overall. It did pull of an upset of Texas in the early portions of conference play - TCU's first series win in 11 seasons - and knocked off Oklahoma State to split that season series in its last outing. But this is a mediocre opponent, and as much of a must-have as any Big 12 game, especially as West Virginia finishes against Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Baylor, among others.

Huggins, above, discusses those issues and what the return of Jonathan Holton means for both the starting line-up, and over the final seven games of the season.

Tarik Phillip, below, gives a brief scouting report on TCU, and what West Virginia saw in its film review of both the games from last season, and the 95-87 road win on Jan. 4. The junior also reviews some of TCU's injury issues, and the return of 6-8 forward Chris Washburn, as well as the Mountaineers' mental approach heading into the final seven games in position to win the regular season league title. Phillip also speaks to Holton's return from a four-game suspension, and what the team will regain both in the press and halfcourt.


BlueGoldNews Top Stories