Game 26: West Virginia at No. 14 Kansas – Preview and Prediction

Despite all the adversity that has come about in the last few weeks, Kansas seems to have flipped a switch, as they’ve won three of four and looked considerably better doing it. The Jayhawks are coming off a a huge road overtime victory at TCU on Monday in a game in which KU lost Dedric Lawson and Mitch Lightfoot down the stretch. Kansas has finally shown some bite to go along with their bark. Saturday’s matchup with West Virginia is a huge one, not only to avoid the season sweep, but to also head into the off week on a high note.

Game Info and Notes:

  • Saturday, February 16th, 2019, 3:00 PM CDT
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.
  • ESPN or WatchESPN App
  • At 8-4, Kansas is tied with Texas Tech for second in the Big 12 race, 1.5 games behind Kansas State (9-2). Five of the 10 Big 12 teams are within 2.5 games of the league leader.
  • Kansas’ 18-game home court winning streak, which includes 17 victories in Allen Fieldhouse and one at Sprint Center, is tops in the Big 12 and is the seventh-longest active streak nationally
  • Kansas is 6-3 against the current AP top-25 with victories against No. 1 Tennessee, No. 10 Marquette, No. 11 Michigan State, No. 13 Villanova, No. 15 Texas Tech and No. 23 Iowa State.
  • Redshirt-junior F Dedric Lawson has posted a league-leading 16 double-doubles this season, which ranks fifth nationally. He also leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.4 ppg and rebounding at 10.6 rpg.
  • Just 11 games into his KU career, freshman G Ochai Agbaji is averaging 10.8 ppg and 5.4 rpg. He has scored 20 or more points in three of his last five outings.
About the Mountaineers

For as good WVU has been over the last couple of seasons, this year they have been a complete dumpster fire. They sit at 10-14 and 2-9 in Big 12 play. Star forward Sagabe Konate has been sidelined for most of the season. Beetle Bolden has been sidelined for the past month and likely to miss the rest of the season. They just had one of their seniors leaders in Esa Ahmad kicked the team this week. It’s just been an ugly season in Morgantown, but a season sweep of KU and preventing them from a 15th straight Big 12 title would be a silver lining for the Mountaineers.

Mountaineers to Watch

Derek Culver – Freshman, Forward, 6’10″
With all the injuries and dismissals, WVU has had to turn to a freshman in Culver. He’s registered double figures in nine of the 14 contests he’s played in this season. He currently has a streak of three-straight 10+ rebound games, and on Feb. 4th against Texas Tech he scored a career-high 23 points. Culver does a good job of getting to the foul line, but doesn’t cash in much as he’s a 56% free-throw shooter.

Prediction

Kansas 86 – West Virginia 58

Simply put, if Kansas loses to this West Virginia team twice in one season…the streak is dead and deserves to be dead. This WVU team is in shambles. They’re missing four of their top six scorers and Kansas seems to be starting to gel a little bit.

The Jayhawks should roll on Saturday afternoon. Give Agbaji to have another huge game…and Chris Teahan gets in at the end of the game and drains a three.

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I'm from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I'm a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They'll always come No.1.