The West Virginia men’s basketball team will face off in one of its most challenging conference matchups Saturday night, hosting No. 3 Kansas at the Coliseum.
The Mountaineers return home with a 10-4 record and a two-game losing streak after falling to Oklahoma State last week. In its first conference game of the season, West Virginia was knocked out of the AP rankings by Kansas State.
The Kansas Jayhawks, however, come to Morgantown with a 13-1 record dominating their opponents in the past seven consecutive games.
West Virginia has a tough task ahead of them as Kansas has a prolific freshman two guard, Gradey Dick, along with a veteran forward Jalen Wilson. Together the two have averaged 35.2 points per game.
Oklahoma State is the only team Kansas didn’t seem to completely topple, as the Jayhawks secured a close victory by only two points.
The game will be streamed on ESPN+. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. EST at the WVU Coliseum.
How will the Mountaineers keep up with the Jayhawks? Here are the top players who will impact Saturday’s matchup.
Erik Stevenson, guard: Stevenson has been a team player since stepping out onto the court. However, the fifth-year guard has fouled out in the last two conference games.
He handles the ball very well and applies pressure on the defensive side, averaging 14 points per game and 51.4% from the field.
Kedrian Johnson, guard: Johnson is one of the best defenders on the team, and his absence in Saturday’s matchup will impact the Mountaineer’s defensive efforts on the court.
On Friday, head coach Bob Huggins ruled out Johnson for the matchup against Kansas in a radio show, saying the fifth-year guard suffered a concussion.
This season, Johnson has averaged 9.1 points shooting 33% from the field.
Gradey Dick, guard: Dick is coming in hot against the Mountaineers. This 6-foot-8 freshman is averaging 14.6 points per game and shoots 47.4% from the field.
Jalen Wilson, forward: Wilson is averaging 20.6 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game. He is a powerhouse and will need to be shut down. Wilson and Dick could run the Mountaineers up and down the court all night.