Dec 3, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard D.J. Newbill (2) defends against a drive by Virginia Tech Hokies guard Devin Wilson (11) during the second half at Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State wins 61-58. Mandatory Credit: Brett Carlsen-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies have a very tough matchup today as they take on the 17th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers on the road at the West Virginia University Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Hokies enter this game as big underdogs, but this is college basketball, and the Hokies have the potential to pull off the upset.
West Virginia is led by star point guard Juwan Staten who is averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 30.3 minutes per game. Other than steals, all of those number are down for Staten from last season, but the senior point guard is still a dangerous player that the Hokies will have to try to contain in this game.
The man that will likely have the main task of containing Staten especially in man defense is point guard Devin Wilson.
Wilson might not be as good as Staten, but the sophomore point guard is starting to play better and is not having too bad of a season. Wilson is currently averaging 7.8 points, 4.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 27.4 minutes per game with all those numbers being down except the steals and rebounds per game.
Devin Wilson is much more efficient shooter with a field goal percentage of 54% compared to Staten who is only shooting 43% from the field. One thing Staten does effectively is attack the rim, and get to the free throw line with an average of 5.6 free throw attempts per game along with an impressive free throw shooting percentage of 82.1%.
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Staten is most effective when he can get easy buckets near the rim, and Wilson is going to need to force Staten to take outside shots.
Wilson is similar to Staten in that both players are willing to attack the rim, and then get the easy bucket or kick it out to an open shooter. The difference is Wilson is a much better shooter than Staten, and the Hokies can afford to have Wilson take some outside shots unlike Staten.
Staten’s top two scoring outputs have come against two of the best teams the Mountaineers have faced with Staten having 21 points against Connecticut and 24 points against NC State. LSU was able to limit him to 17 points and barely pull off the upset in Morgantown.
The Hokies will need to be able to limit Staten some in this game as he is the focal point of West Virginia’s offense. Devin Wilson is a solid defensive player, but the Hokies will be hoping Wilson can have his best defensive game of the season.
However, this will be a tough matchup for Wilson as Staten has been productive against more talented guards including UCONN’s Ryan Boatright. Wilson seems like a player who could do a decent job, but Staten will want some revenge after the Hokies beat West Virginia last season in Blacksburg.
The matchup between Devin Wilson and Juwan Staten will be critical in determining whether the Hokies have a decent change to pull off the upset or not.
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