After five games on the road, country roads are taking WVU men’s hoops home for its first game at the WVU Coliseum this season against Robert Morris. The action tips off at 7 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
The 11th-ranked Mountaineers enter this contest with a 4-1 record through a difficult campaign so far. Their sole loss came at the hands of No. 1 Gonzaga, but most recently, they made it back up with a victory at Georgetown.
WVU’s upcoming clash with the Colonials could very well be a break from its tough schedule, which ranks 12th in the nation in terms of strength.
“Obviously it’s not Pitt, it’s not Duquesne, but it’s a school nearby and we do have some history with Robert Morris,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins. “I think our guys just want to play somebody other than themselves.”
West Virginia hasn’t faced the Colonials for a decade (in fact, it will have been exactly 10 years and two days on Wednesday’s tip), but they’ve faced each other 21 times before the break. WVU owns the series, 19-2.
Guard Deuce McBride and forward Derek Culver have led the the Mountaineers through their first five games, both averaging over 15 points every contest. Culver has gotten off to an especially strong start — along with his double-digit scoring average, he is also rebounding at a 10.8 board-per-game clip, the second-best rate among Big 12 rebounders.
McBride has also made noticeable strides in his sophomore year. His scoring average has made a nearly six-point improvement in the early part of this season, which his helped by his 41.7 percent field goal percentage from behind the three-point line.
He has also seen a much bigger role in year two. Huggins has entrusted McBride not only with a starting role, but also that of the point guard.
Robert Morris has played just one game this year, beating Point Park 75-57 at home over the weekend. After a fast start in the first half, RMU coasted in the second half for a season-opening victory. Senior AJ Bramah led the Colonials with 18 points in his second year at RMU.
Wednesday’s game between No. 11 West Virginia and Robert Morris tips off at 7 p.m. ET on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.