2013-14 WVU men's basketball preview

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West Virginia brings back one of the youngest squads in college basketball this fall, fielding a roster with no seniors and 10 freshmen and sophomores. It was 6-9 freshman forward Nathan Adrian, a Morgantown native, who flashed the first positive sign, scoring 23 points in an exhibition victory Monday night against Fairmont State. He and fellow 6-9 freshman forward Devin Williams should battle for playing time in their debut seasons and provide a more stable starting five than last season, when 12 players made starts.


The Mountaineers struggled in their outside game last season, shooting just 31.6 percent from 3-point range despite boasting sophomore guard Terry Henderson, who shot 40 percent from behind the arc. Adrian, a big man with a versatile game, could be a key contributor to the perimeter. He was lights out in the exhibition, making 3-pointers on each of the first two possessions and hitting 6 of his 10 3-point attempts. West Virginia started the year off right, shooting 44.4 percent from long range against Fairmont.


With a trio of experienced guards back, a critical concern is that the Mountaineers need a spark in the frontcourt. Fairmont State badly outscored West Virginia, 34-10, in the paint. The freshman duo of Adrian and Williams appear, at least through one performance, to be a two-fold answer; Adrian provided the punch, with 21 points, and Williams added the muscle, with 14 rebounds. Expect junior center Kevin Noreen, the tallest player on the roster (6-10), to be a much improved offensive player this season.


• 2012-13: 13-19, 6-12 Big 12.

• COACH: Bob Huggins, seventh year, 120-56.

• PROBABLE STARTERS: G — Juwan Staten, Jr., 6-1, (7.6 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.9 rpg); G — Eron Harris, So., 6-3, (9.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg); G — Terry Henderson, So., 6-4, (8.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg); F — Devin Williams, Fr., 6-9, (NA); C — Kevin Noreen, Jr., 6-10, (3.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg).

• SCHEDULE (Home games in caps)

NOVEMBER — 8, MOUNT ST. MARY’S, 8 p.m.; 12, Virginia Tech, 1 p.m.; 17, DUQUESNE, 4 p.m.; 21, GEORGIA SOUTHERN, 7 p.m.; 23, PRESBYTERIAN, 1:30 p.m.; 26, OLD DOMINION, 6 p.m.; 27, WISCONSIN or SAINT LOUIS, 7 or 9:30 p.m.

DECEMBER — 2, LOYOLA, 7 p.m.; 5, Missouri, 7 p.m.; 10, GONZAGA, 9 p.m.; 14, MARSHALL, 7:30 p.m.; 22, PURDUE, 1 p.m.; 29, WILLIAM & MARY, 3 p.m.

JANUARY — 4, at TCU, 4 p.m.; 6, Texas Tech, 7 p.m.; 11, OKLAHOMA STATE, 4 p.m.; 13, TEXAS, 7 p.m.; 18, Kansas State, 1:30 p.m.; 22, TEXAS TECH, 8 p.m.; 25, Oklahoma State, 2 p.m.; 28, Baylor, 7 p.m.

FEBRUARY — 1, KANSAS STATE, 1:30 p.m.; 5, OKLAHOMA, 7 p.m.; 8, Kansas, 4 p.m.; 10, IOWA STATE, 7 p.m.; 15, Texas, 8 p.m.; 22, BAYLOR, 1:30 p.m.; 26, Iowa State, 8 p.m.

MARCH — 1, TCU, 1:30 p.m.; 5, Oklahoma, 9 p.m.; 8, KANSAS, noon.

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