Now that online sports betting in West Virginia is taking hold, WVU fans will be turning their attention to the hardcourt. As WVU football enters the off-season, all eyes are turning to WVU hoops.
The WVU Mountaineers men’s basketball team received votes in this week’s Associated Press poll. And even though they aren’t in the top 25 yet, people are starting to see the potential.
WVU is off to a strong 7-0 start, the best beginning of a season since 2016 for the Mountaineers.
The start is even more impressive considering last season was one of only two losing seasons for WVU under head coach Bob Huggins.
And the Oscar goes to WVU basketball
Freshman Oscar Tshiebwe is living up to his hype. His work ethic has been evident following a slow start in game one.
His double-double in the next game against Pitt shows he took Huggins’ advice to be more active.
It is only the fourth time a WVU freshman posted 20 points and 17 rebounds in a single game. In fact, Tshiebwe is averaging just shy of a double-double for the season.
While there is a lot of good happening on the hardcourt, there is a big hole that needs addressing, shot taking.
Nothing, especially the net for a few WVU players
WVU’s shotmakers have not earned that distinction of late.
Taz Sherman came to WVU averaging 25.9 points per game for Collins College last year. This year he is averaging 2.6 points in nearly 14 minutes of playing time per game.
Sean McNeil transferred to WVU as a 3-point hopeful. Unfortunately, he has only made eight threes in 20 attempts. Not as bad a result as Sherman, but definitely below expectations.
Needless to say, Huggins has a game plan. He shared that plan with the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
“[Sherman] and Sean are both going to start making shots. We’ve got to continue to work at it and continue to work with them. We’ve got to get them more time.”
If only it were that easy. Although, Huggins talking to Tshiebwe after the first game seemed to work wonders.
WVU basketball: Looking ahead
WVU has five games in December. Two games that bookend the month will certainly challenge the team, giving the Mountaineers an opportunity to prove what they’re made of.
First up is the matchup of St. John’s at Madison Square Garden and the month ends with a visit to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to battle Ohio State. The three games in the middle should be easier contests for WVU and look for WV sports betting apps to reward the Mountaineers as favorites.
If the Mountaineers end December with a strong showing, those AP votes should increase.
WVU basketball December’s schedule
- Dec. 7 at St. John’s
- Dec. 12 vs. Austin Peay
- Dec. 14 vs. Nicholls
- Dec. 21 at Youngstown State
- Dec. 29 at Ohio State
While the team is 7-0, it has been a struggle to lock up a few of the wins. Huggins is not worried, though. He knows he is bringing together some new talent and it will take time.
“It’s a culture, I think, but we’ve got so many guys from so many different places right now,” said Huggins.
“I think we’ll get there because they are really good guys. They’re not going to fight you on it, it’s just a matter of continuing to work on it. It’s so much a game of repetition.”
WVU basketball betting futures
It’s not too late to get in on some college futures betting at WV Sportsbooks. Currently, bettors can find odds at:
Big 12 Champion
- FanDuel +900
- DraftKings +700
- FanDuel +1500
- DraftKings +2400
2020 National Championship
- FanDuel +7000
- DraftKings +10000