#34 West Virginia Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

West Virginia Mountaineers

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #6 Big 12

West Virginia Team Page#34 West Virginia Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy West Virginia Basketball Tickets

The last time we saw West Virginia, they were getting absolutely crushed by Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen. That game ended up with a humiliating 78-39 final score. But other than that, it was a very successful season for Coach Bob Huggins and his Mountaineers. WVU won 25 games and finished just two games behind Big 12 champion Kansas. Coach Huggins sped up his team last year and ran a press defense and got up and down the floor in a hurry. Despite that change in tempo, this is still West Virginia and this is still a tough and physical team.  

2014-15 Record: 25-10, 11-7
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Bob Huggins
Coach Record: 175-101 at West Virginia, 765-312 overall

Who’s Out:
Of the ten players who averaged at least a dozen minutes per game last season, only two are gone. One is leading scorer and point guard Juwan Staten though. Staten had a superb senior season, averaging 14.2 points and 4.6 assists. He was also the only player on the team to average over 25 minutes per game with 31.3. Fellow guard Gary Browne averaged 7.0 points per game and proved to be a pretty dangerous outside shooter. Little used Chase Connor and BillyDee Williams are the only other departures.

Who’s In:
Transfer Teyvon Myers and Esa Ahmad will likely crack the regular rotation this year. Myers spent last season at Williston State College in the juco ranks and the 6-2 guard proved to be a very dangerous scorer from everywhere on the floor. He can score in bunches and is expected to be a great sparkplug off of the bench. Ahmad, a 6-8, 225 pound forward, could be starting at some point this season. He is a great talent with the toughness to hit the glass and the smarts to find open teammates. TyQuane Goard, a transfer who sat out last season at Marshall, will add more options and toughness in the paint. James Bolden, Logan Routt and Lamont West round out the group of newcomers, but all of them should have time to develop.

Who to Watch:
The backcourt will look different without Staten and Browne, but Coach Huggins still has plenty of perimeter weapons. It starts with sophomores Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles. Carter was third on the team in scoring last year and averaged 1.8 assists and 1.9 steals. Miles, who at this point is most well-known for predicting a win over Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament, will be a big-time scorer. He averaged just 7.3 points per game as a freshman, but Miles is a dangerous shooter and can be dangerous inside the arc too. If WVU plays small, Jaysean Paige could find himself in the starting lineup as well. He started ten games as a junior and averaged 5.6 points per game. Paige still has a lot to prove, but now is the time since there are minutes to be had. Tarik Phillip will look to help fill the void as well.  

Final Projection:
The backcourt is a bit more of a question than the frontcourt. Jonathan Holton and Devin Williams are proven forwards and WVU will be in good shape as long as they remember to work the offense through the big guys when they are stuck in the halfcourt. Holton, a 6-7, 220 pound senior, averaged 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds last season, but he can be much more productive if he can cut down on the fouls. Williams is the best player on the team and has the size to battle with any big guy in the Big 12. After averaging 11.6 points and 8.1 rebounds, He recorded nine double-doubles last season and that number could double in 2015-2016. With promising sophomore Elijah Macon and shooter Nathan Adrian adding to the depth, WVU can do a lot of damage in the frontcourt. The leadership in the backcourt is what could keep this team from joining the top half of the Big 12. This team needs to continue to force turnovers or find a way to shoot better from the floor if they hope to make a big NCAA Tournament run.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Jevon Carter, Sophomore, Guard, 8.1 points per game
Jaysean Paige, Senior, Guard, 5.6 points per game
Daxter Miles, Sophomore, Guard, 7.3 points per game
Jonathan Holton, Senior, Forward, 7.5 points per game
Devin Williams, Junior, Forward, 11.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.6 (50th in nation, 2th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.8 (173, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.8 (287, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.9 (324, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (158, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.6 (285, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.2 (272, 8)
Rebound Margin: 2.9 (81, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (68, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (218, 8)

Madness 2015 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#61 Esa Ahmad


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