Three Keys For A Mountaineer Victory Over TCU
On Saturday afternoon, the Mountaineers will travel to Forth Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs. West Virginia is coming off a good team win at home against Oklahoma State, but it'll be a test to see if the Mountaineers can grab a win on the road. The game will tip-off at 2 p.m. EST and will be televised on ESPNU.
TCU currently has a record of 14-12 on the year and a conference record of 5-8, which ranks sixth in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs are considered to be an "on the bubble" team in the eyes of the NCAA tournament committee and are looking to fight their way into March Madness. A win over a ranked West Virginia team would help anyone's resume.
The Mountaineers can't seem to keep their momentum on the road but if they follow these three keys they should add a road win to their resume.
1. Make Shots
If you read my three key articles, you probably have found a common theme over the past few games. My number one key to each game is to MAKE SHOTS. West Virginia shot better against Oklahoma State finishing the game at 43% from the field, but was also horrific from the three-point line as they finished the game 2/16, which is good for 12%. The Mountaineers have dropped to shooting 29% this season from behind the arc, and if that holds up, would go down as the worst shooting year in the entire history of West Virginia basketball. West Virginia still has a lot to figure out before conference tournament play, but it would help to use games like this one to figure it out.
2. Shut Down Desmond Bane
Desmond Bane is a senior guard who leads the Horned Frogs in scoring with 15.9 points per game, assists with 3.5 per game, and steals with 1.6 per game. Bane is clearly TCU's number one option on offense. In their first matchup with the Mountaineers back on January 14th - which was an 81-49 blowout win for West Virginia, Bane was held to just 13 points on 4-8 shooting. West Virginia focused in on him and made his teammates try to beat them as it didn't work out well for TCU. If West Virginia can repeat this defensive effort again, look for TCU to have trouble scoring.
3. Out Rebound TCU
West Virginia is considered to be one of the best rebounding teams in all of college basketball. Led by Tshiebwe with 9.4 rebounds per game, and Culver with 8.6 rebounds per game, the "Twin Towers" have proven that when they control the paint, it usually leads to a Mountaineer victory. West Virginia is averaging 41 rebounds per game and only allowing 32 rebounds from their opponents. TCU averages just 35.4 rebounds per game. If the Mountaineers can take away possessions from the Horned Frogs and limit their second chance opportunities, look for West Virginia to pull away at the end.
All season long, aside from a few games, the narrative has been "West Virginia can't win on the road". Road wins help resumes when the NCAA tournament committee is looking where to place teams, so these are the games that West Virginia are "supposed to win".
If you cannot watch the game on Saturday afternoon but will have access to your phone, there is no reason to worry. Before every game, Mountaineer Maven has posted a "Game Thread" where our Mountaineer Maven team and West Virginia fans can comment and interact with each other. *Note: don't follow/comment on the thread through Facebook/Twitter comments, but through the actual article itself* Let's help each other out by commenting as much as possible for those who can't watch and keep them posted play by play and score by score.
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook - @WVUonSI