With college basketball season still months away there is still much to be excited about especially now since it looks like West Virginia will go up against an old foe. Before Virginia Tech moved to the ACC, both schools were big time rivals, now this rivalry will be renewed this year.
With Virginia Tech releasing its tenative basketball schedule this week, one of their most interesting opponents is West Virginia. While these teams have faced each other many times on the football field it is now time to faceoff on the hardwood. Last year the Mountaineers finished with a 19-14 record overall while going 9-9 in the Big East. The Hokies went 16-17 overall and 4-12 in the ACC. While both teams had their ups and downs, the Mountaineers were the more successful of the two.
Both teams have lost players and now when they go to face each other they will need everyone to step up big time. The Mountaineers lost Kevin Jones who was the most complete player on any Big East team last year and now they will have to rely on Deniz Kilicli and Jabarie Hinds to lead them this year. The Hokies only lost Tyrone Garland, but other than him everyone else from last year will be returning. This could prove difficult for West Virginia since Tech will already be familiar with one another while WVU could still be trying to find their niche.
Through the years these two teams have faced one another with West Virginia going 46-29 overall while also going 2-0 in tournament games. History may be on West Virginia’s side in this one, but it will take a lot more than that if they want to truly pummel Virginia Tech.
One thing they have got to work on this year is getting better shots from beyond the arc. There were many times last year when they took unnecessary shots from there and in a few cases ended up costing them the game. Hinds could not get anything to drop towards the end of the season and him being unable to make those shots cost the Mountaineers a few games. Now with Kevin Jones gone they also have to be able to move without the ball. This was another problem that lead to turnovers and fast break points. Kilicli and Hinds will have to teach the new recruits as well as instruct veterans of what to do in certain situations.
Last year the Hokies stole the ball 183 times while blocking 107 shots. Their three pointers made were also significantly higher than that of the Mountaineers. Other than that one stat West Virginia was ahead of them in pretty much everything else.
So with this matchup getting underway in basketball, could it also show up in football in the near future?