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West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Tennessee Volunteers Opponent Preview

The Vols take a break in SEC action to face off against a Big 12 foe.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Vanderbilt
Hopefully Grant Williams will get some more help on Saturday.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers survived the Vanderbilt Commodores on Wednesday night, but now they head home to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers beat Kansas just a week ago - a feat that the Vols couldn’t accomplish - but came crashing back down to earth in a bad loss to the Baylor Bears.

This team has talent and a good coach in Bob Huggins, but just can’t seem to put it all together this year. Will that change against the Vols?

Conference Record and Standings

  • Big 12 Conference
  • 9-10 (1-6) 12th
  • Lost last game

Impact Players

  • F Sagaba Konate: 13.6 PPG, 43.5 FG%, 81.3 FT%, 8.0 REB, 2.8 BLK, 2.1 TO, 1.4 AST, 24.1 MIN
  • G James Bolden: 12.8 PPG,41.8 FG%, 82.0 FT%, 34.9 3PT%, 2.7 REB, 2.6 AST, 2.2 TO, 1.1 STL, 22.0 MIN
  • F Derek Culver: 10.9 PPG, 52.9 FG%, 57.1 FT%, 8.3 REB, 0.7 BLK, 1.2 TO, 1.1 AST, 23.7 MIN

Most Recent

As mentioned earlier, the Mountaineers took a beating by the Bears. The 85-73 defeat was the fourth loss by double-digits so far this season.

Three-point shooting put the Bears up by 17 early in the first half and continued to dominate into the second half, leading by 20+ at one point.

The Mountaineers were able to close the gap to 10, but Baylor put the clamps down right after the 13-2 run and never looked back.

West Virginia shot 37.8% on the night, including 23.5% from three.

It was a disappointing follow-up to a big win over Kansas.

Game Outlook

From this point on, throw out all the records. The Vols are the number one ranked team in the country. Every team they face this year will bring their best game and Tennessee better be ready for every matchup.

If the Mountaineers can play like they did against the Jayhawks, then Tennessee could easily lose this game. It makes sense that the Baylor game could’ve been more of an emotional letdown after a big win.

The Vols can’t rely on another 43 point performance from Williams if they want to win this game. Admiral Schofield will need to step up and the Vols will have to avoid settling for shots like they did during the Vanderbilt game.

Tennessee MUST stay out of foul trouble in this game. Wins against Bama and Vandy may not have happened if both teams didn’t struggle from the charity stripe. The Mountaineers have four players that shoot 75% or higher - three of the four hit more than 80% of those shots.

This game will be a tough test, but if Tennessee is on their game then they should take care of business.