#40 West Virginia Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

West Virginia Mountaineers

Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #5 Big 12 Conference
#40 West Virginia Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
West Virginia Team Page


West Virginia went through a significant retooling of its team during the 2014-15 season as they had to replace six seniors from the 2014 Big 12 Championship squad. The Mountaineers went through their share of growing pains but got better as the season went along by getting wins over Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. Despite missing the NCAA Tournament, West Virginia recovered nicely in the WNIT and made a run to the finals before falling short against UCLA in front of over 8,000 people at the Charleston Civic Center.

2014-15 Record: 23-15, 7-11
2014-15 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: Mike Carey
Coach Record: 297-161 at West Virginia, 585-263 overall

Bria Holmes is back as a senior and will be the engine that makes this Mountaineer offense run. Holmes averaged just under 19 points per game last season and, with inexperience around her, will have to carry the team early on offensively. If she is back to 100 percent, Arielle Roberson, a transfer from Colorado, should be able to bolster the West Virginia attack on the offensive end of the court. Roberson, when she was last healthy during the 2013-14 season, was the Buffaloes leading scorer at 12.0 points per game and averaged 8.3 rebounds per games. Roberson was also very efficient shooting the basketball at just under 46 percent, which will help open things up offensively for the Mountaineers. Defensively, West Virginia was solid as always. They limited teams to just under 37 percent shooting from the floor. The ability to replicate that this season will help the Mountaineers stay in just about every game.

The inability to shoot the three-point shot consistently hurt West Virginia all throughout the 2014-15 season. The Mountaineers shot just 29.4 percent from behind the three-point line last season and will need increased production from the likes of Teana Muldrow, who made 47 three-point shots last season. If she could hit closer to 35 percent, that will be a big difference maker for West Virginia this season. The ability to create more turnovers, which should result in easier opportunities offensively, will also be a big help for the Mountaineers as they only created 15.8 turnovers per game last season. A good target goal for this young squad will be to force in the neighborhood of 18-20 turnovers per game while cutting their turnovers down closer to 12-13 on a nightly basis.

Final Projection:
The schedule will be a tough one as always for head coach Mike Carey’s squad. A trip out to Spokane for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Classic will provide a nice litmus of games against Gonzaga, USC and Grand Canyon. A neutral court matchup against James Madison on December 20th down in Winter Park, Florida will be a great pre Big 12 conference test to see how far West Virginia has progressed, especially at the offensive end of the court. In conference play, the opener at home against Texas is going to set the tone for an early part of the schedule that could allow for a quick start if they beat the Longhorns. The first true road test in Big 12 play will be at Baylor on January 12th and then trips back to Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will truly dictate whether or not the Mountaineers will finish in the top half of the conference. Look for a bounce back season in Morgantown with a return to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Bria Holmes, Senior, Guard, 18.8 points per game
Tynice Martin, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Teana Muldrow, Sophomore, Forward, 6.9 points per game
Arielle Roberson, Senior, Forward, DNP last season
Lanay Montgomery, Junior, Center, 4.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.6 (145th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.6 (68, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.5 (187, 8)
Field-Goal Defense:  36.7 (35, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  4.6 (220, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.4 (230, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.7 (244, 8)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (49, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (155, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (122, 5)

Madness 2016 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#14 Bria Holmes

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#62 Tynice Martin


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