On Tuesday, the West Virginia Mountaineers traveled to play the Kansas State Wildcats in the Octagon of Doom, or more formally known as Bramlage Coliseum. Both teams got off to a sloppy start, as West Virginia and K-State combined to turn the ball over 25 times in the first half.
When you play West Virginia, you better be prepared to be in a track meet. Bob Huggins brings the full-court press for 40 minutes, and the Mountaineers get on the fast break whenever they can. West Virginia forces teams into uncomfortable situations and makes opposing teams turn the ball over; the Mountaineers lead the nation in steals. This game was no different, as West Virginia forced Kansas State to commit 25 turnovers and never allowed them to get comfortable on offense.
Although the Mountaineers average 71.5 possessions per game, they don’t necessarily shoot the ball well from the floor. West Virginia only shoots 41.7 percent from the field and shot an abominable 36.4 percent in this one. West Virginia was able to take advantage of extra possessions from their pressure and get easy buckets in transition.
Juwan Staten struggled to get going for the Mountaineers. Staten appeared to be nursing his left wrist injury when he took a hard foul from Thomas Gipson. The senior point-guard picked up two early fouls and never established himself on the offensive end, save a few heady drives to the basket.
The Mountaineers unsurprisingly got a big lift from their bench, as they outscored Kansas State’s bench by 22.
Turnovers were the story in this one. If Kansas State could have limited their turnovers, they could have put more points on the board and reduced West Virginia’s fast break points.
James Szuba is a college basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesSzuba.