Texas Longhorns at West Virginia Mountaineers
WVU Coliseum – Morgantown, West Virginia
Monday, January 13, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: West Virginia -5 1/2
Current Line: West Virginia -5 1/2
Opening Total: 149
Current Total: 147 1/2
Opening Money Line: WVU -245 / Texas +205
Current Money Line: WVU -240 / Texas +200
Early in the Big 12 conference schedule, one thing is clear. The conference is loaded with talented teams and parity has ruled the way so far. The 2-0 Kansas Jayhawks hold a half game lead over 5 teams that are 2-1 in conference. Kansas travels to 2-1 Iowa State Monday night. Another one of the second place teams, the West Virginia Mountaineers hosts the 1-2 Texas Longhorns Monday night.
The Mountaineers are 10-6 overall this season, and the Longhorns are 12-4. The two schools have only met 5 times previously, with West Virginia leading the series 3-2. All five meetings have been decided by a total of 11 points. Last, year, they split the two meetings with each winning a very close game at home. Texas won in Austin 57-53 in overtime, and West Virginia won in Morgantown 60-58. The two schools will meet again February 15 in Austin.
Texas is coached by Rick Barnes. The Longhorns have losses to BYU in Kansas City, at home to Michigan State and Oklahoma, and at Oklahoma State. Texas has key wins over DePaul in Kansas City, at home against Vanderbilt, at North Carolina, at home against Rice and Texas Tech Saturday 67-64. The Texas Tech win was the first big 12 win of the season for Texas and snapped a two game losing streak. Texas is 6-7 ATS and the total is 7-6 this season.
Texas is outscoring teams 78-71 this season. The Longhorns are shooting 44.3% from the field and 33.3% from 3 point range. Texas makes 64.5% of their free throws. Texas opponents are shooting 40.3% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. The Longhorns average 42.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.1 per game. Texas is #10 nationally in rebounding. The Longhorns average 12.4 points, 13.1 turnovers, 6.9 steals, and 6.9 blocks per game. Texas opponents average 12.9 assists, 13.6 turnovers, 6.9 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.
Texas forward Jonathan Holmes averages 12.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Guard Isaiah Taylor averages 11.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and a steal per game. Guard Javan Felix averages 11.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Center Cameron Ridley averages 10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. Guard Demarcus Holland averages 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Demarcus Croaker, Connor Lammert, Prince Ibeh, and Kendal Yancy will also get significant time in the rotation.
West Virginia is coached by Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers have home losses to Gonzaga and Purdue, along with road losses to Virginia Tech and Missouri and a loss to Wisconsin in Cancun. West Virginia suffered their first conference loss of the season Saturday at home against Oklahoma State 73-72 on a buzzer beater three pointer. The loss snapped a three game winning streak for the Mountaineers. WVU has key wins over Duquesne, Old Dominion in Cancun, Marshall and William & Mary both in Charleston, at TCU and at Texas Tech. The Mountaineers are 7-6 ATS and the total is 5-7 this season.
West Virginia is outscoring teams 81-69 this season. The Mountaineers are #30 nationally in scoring. WVU is shooting 46.5% from the field and 39.7% from 3 point range. The Mountaineers are #32 in three point shooting nationally. WVU makes 70.2% of their free throws. West Virginia opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Mountaineers average 37.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 32.3 per game. West Virginia averages 14.4 assists, 6.2 steals, 3.1 blocks, and 9.6 turnovers per game. Opponents average 11.6 assists, 4.6 steals, 3.3 blocks, and 13.4 turnovers a game.
Guard Eron Harris averages 18.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Guard Juwan Staten averages 17 points, 6.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Guard Terry Henderson averages 11.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Forward Devin Williams averages 10.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Forward Remi Dibo averages 7.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Gary Browne, Nathan Adrian, Brandon Watkins, and Kevin Noreen will also get significant minutes. Forwards Elijah Macon and Jonathan Holton are both out for the season or indefinitely.
Texas is 5-1 ATS in Monday games, 2-5 after failing to cover, and after a straight up win, 1-4 overall, 0-4 against teams with winning records and against Big 12 teams. The road team has covered the last 4 in this series, and was the underdog in each of those contests.
West Virginia is 4-0 ATS against teams with winning records, and overall, 5-12-2 after a cover, 3-8 against teams with winning road records, 7-21-1 at home, and 2-9 after a straight up win.
Both of these teams are comfortable playing in the high 70’s. Both sometimes struggle on defense. Texas is a much better rebounding team. West Virginia is good at shooting the three. I know Texas is 1-2 in conference so far, but I think they are a better team than West Virginia. I like Texas to at least stay within the 5.5 point spread, and maybe even pull off the upset on the road.