West Virginia Looks For Season Series Sweep, Second Place Finish In Big 12

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - With a win over Texas Tech on Wednesday, West Virginia will remain in contention for a second-place finish in the Big 12.

There's still significant regular season basketball to be played, though, and what was assumed to be among the easier potential season sweeps in the league now looks like a far more dunting task. Tubby Smith's Red Raiders have won five of their last six games, the lone loss coming at Kansas, while building depth via a series of players maturing into their roles in his third season. Tech is 18-10 overall, 8-8 in th league and a major threat to any opponent if they continue to perform at their current level.

The Raiders knocked off three consecutive ranked opponents in then-Nos. 14 Iowa State, 21 Baylor and 3 Oklaoma - with Baylor coming on the road - before bowing 67-58 at No. 2 Kansas on Saturday. Tech has four players averaging double figures over a well-balanced line-up, including sophomore forward Zach Smith at 10 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Smith's team can slash to the bucket, put pressure on the rim and, at times, hit effectively from the outside. Texas Tech averages 12 turnovers a game against 13 assists, and it figures the Mountaineers will have to increase that number by at least 25 percent to give itself a solid shot to take both sseries games this season. Head coach Bob Huggins, above, details the issues in facing the much-improved program, and how WVU will have to use itss depth and a stance rebounding effort to win the home finale.


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