The West Virginia Mountaineers (6-1) welcome in the Radford Highlanders (4-4) Saturday at 4:00 pm EST and will be streaming on ESPN+.
Schuyler Callihan: West Virginia 75, Radford 54
Radford is going through an experimental period right now in the beginning stages of the Darris Nichols era. They're still trying to figure out what works, what lineups play well together, and it shows. But, with that said, they have played much better basketball, winning three straight, including a 13-point win over Eastern Kentucky - a team that gave WVU fits a little over a week ago.
The one glaring issue this team has is that it turns the ball over at an alarming rate. As a team, the Highlanders average nearly 17 turnovers per game. Against a team like West Virginia that likes to put pressure on the ball and trap in certain areas of the floor, that seems like a disaster waiting to happen for Nichols' guys.
West Virginia has struggled out of the gate against some of these lower-level schools, but I see them having full control of this one from the get-go.
Christopher Hall: West Virginia 72 Radford 59
The Mountaineers will have their hands full yet again on Saturday. West Virginia welcomes in one of its own in Radford head coach Darris Nichols. The Highlanders went through a tough four-game skid, averaging only 46.3 points per game during that span. However, they are currently on a three-game winning streak, notching wins over William & Mary, Eastern Kentucky and Kentucky Christian.
West Virginia is still trying to find a consistent scorer outside of guards Taz Sherman (20.1 ppg) and Sean McNeil (12.0 ppg), but the group is beginning to gel on both ends of the floor, and after Tuesday's win over Bellarmine, the Mountaineers seem to have the understanding they have to play 40 minutes of basketball. Nonetheless, we have yet to see them put together two consecutive complete games.
Additionally, Nichols is 2-0 as an assistant coach versus Huggins. Of course, it was during his time at Florida, but as an up and comer in the coaching ranks, Nichols will have a solid scout and gameplan for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers are bigger across the board but I suspect Radford will give West Virginia everything they can handle. I believe WVU is in for a battle but will pull away late. West Virginia 72 Radford 59.
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