Having won three straight matchups in the rivalry, the West Virginia men’s basketball team will take part in this season’s installment of the Backyard Brawl on Friday night.
Coming off a season-opening win over Akron, the Mountaineers will go head-to-head against a Pitt team who was voted to finish 10th in the ACC in the conference’s preseason poll.
Led by second-year head coach Jeff Capel III, Pittsburgh (2-1) is hoping to ride the wave of momentum from a 71-57 victory over Robert Morris on Tuesday.
Through three games, the Panthers are led offensively by sophomore guard Ryan Murphy — the team’s leader in scoring with an average of 17 points per game.
Trey McGowens, a sophomore guard, is second in scoring as he averages 15 points per game. He also leads the Panthers in rebounding, averaging 6.7 per game.
Defensively, six-foot-ten-inch forward Terrell Brown leads the team in blocks, with 11, while McGowens paces the team with six steals.
Having played in only one game, West Virginia (1-0) has seen limited action during the regular season. In their lone game, the team featured four players scoring double-digit points, as well as two others each scoring nine.
Sophomore forward Derek Culver and senior guard Jermaine Haley led the Mountaineers in multiple capacities in the 94-84 win, sharing the team lead in points (16) and rebounds (seven). Emmitt Matthews Jr., who also hauled in seven boards, finished the night with 13 points.
Since 1906, Pitt and West Virginia have met 186 times. Since Bob Huggins took over as head coach of the Mountaineers prior to the 2007 season, WVU holds a losing record against the Panthers with only six wins in thirteen matchups.
Friday night’s game, tipping off from the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, will be broadcast on ESPNU. The matchup is slated to begin at 7 p.m.