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These guys again: No. 20 West Virginia

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Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) is defended by West Virginia guard Juwan Staten (3) after Ellis caught a long pass from Jamari Traylor in an attempt for a last-second shot at the end of the Jayhawks 62-61 loss game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) is defended by West Virginia guard Juwan Staten (3) after Ellis caught a long pass from Jamari Traylor in an attempt for a last-second shot at the end of the Jayhawks 62-61 loss game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V.

Odds are you vividly remember what happened the last time Kansas and West Virginia squared off. Feb. 16 wasn’t that long ago, after all.

The final seconds, in which the Mountaineers’ Juwan Staten scored a layup on one end of the floor and the Jayhawks’ Perry Ellis missed one on the other end, received a lot of attention. But West Virginia’s ability to dominate the offensive glass and create Kansas turnovers throughout proved even more important for Bob Huggins’ squad.

In a 62-61 WVU win, the Mountaineers scored 15 second-chance points off 22 offensive rebounds. — Again, 22 offensive rebounds. — Plus, Kansas gave the ball away 14 times, and West Virginia capitalized by scoring 17 points off turnovers.

West Virginia thrived by doing what it does best. Now the question is: Can the Mountaineers replicate that at Allen Fieldhouse? Statistics indicate those specific set of skills travel well.

According to TeamRankings.com, WVU leads the nation in opponents’ turnover percentage: 28.2%. In away games, WVU opponents have turned it over on 28% of their possessions.

What’s more, WVU retrieves 38.7% of available offensive rebounds — that ranks 8th in the nation. On the road, the Mountaineers get 37.6%.

The tricky part for the No. 20 Mountaineers (22-7 overall, 10-6 Big 12), though, could be maintaining their typical style, aggressiveness and effectiveness without a key piece or two.

Huggins said Monday starting guards Staten and Gary Browne are “day-to-day” with injuries. Staten hurt his knee against Texas and Browne suffered an ankle sprain against Baylor.

Without both of those guys, beating No. 9 Kansas (23-6, 12-4) might prove impossible. WVU lost by 12 at Baylor without Staten and Browne (played just 3 minutes).

Now, as a refresher, here are the Mountaineers KU has to hold back in the final week of the regular season, as the Jayhawks try to clinch their 11th straight Big 12 championship outright.

MOUNTAINEERS STARTERS

No. 3 — Juwan Staten, 6-1, senior G

West Virginia guard Juwan Staten (3) jumps through the Kansas defense for shot during the Jayhawks game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V. Staten led W.V. with 20 points and scored the winning basket in the game.

West Virginia guard Juwan Staten (3) jumps through the Kansas defense for shot during the Jayhawks game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V. Staten led W.V. with 20 points and scored the winning basket in the game.

— Feb. 16 vs. KU: 20 points, 9/18 FGs, 2/3 3s, 4 assists, 0 turnovers, 1 steal in 32 minutes

Will West Virginia’s best player be available at Kansas? We might have to wait until just before Tuesday’s 8 p.m. tip to find out.

If he suits up and is close to 100%, Staten gives WVU its best shot at pulling off an upset. The Big 12’s preseason Player of the Year has scored 20 or more points in three straight games vs. Kansas.

In 14 Big 12 games, Staten has averaged 13.1 points and 5.0 assists, made 10 of 29 3-pointers (34.5%) and hit 40.8% of his field goals overall. He also gets to the foul line with regularity, but has made just 53 of 86 free throws (61.6%).

hoop-matth.com update: Look for Staten to go one-on-one and take 2-point jump shots. 48.4% of his attempts on the season qualify as such, and while he connects on 41.3% of them, only 10 of his 62 makes have come via a teammate’s assist.

No. 5 — Devin Williams, 6-9, sophomore F

Kansas guard Frank Mason III and West Virginia forward Devin Williams (5) struggle for a loose ball Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III and West Virginia forward Devin Williams (5) struggle for a loose ball Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V.

— Feb. 16 vs. KU: 8 points, 4/7 FGs, 4 rebounds (1 offensive), 3 assists, 2 TOs, 1 steal in 26 minutes

In WVU’s first meeting with the Jayhawks, KU actually did a nice job of negating his presence on the offensive glass, but his teammates more than made up for Williams only grabbing 1.

Williams has cleaned the glass well in the Big 12, averaging 8.9 bards to go with his 11.4 points and 46.2% shooting. He averages 2.7 offensive rebounds a game.

The big man gets to the foul line for 4.9 attempts a game in the league, and he shoots 69.9%.

— hoop-math.com update: Given his size and rebounding ability, it’s surprising that Williams only takes 47.1% of his shots at the rim. He gladly takes jumpers from the baseline and elbows. His 34 put-backs on the offensive glass don’t even lead the team.

No. 14 — Gary Browne, 6-1, senior G

West Virginia guards Chase Connor, left, and Gary Browne, center, surround Juwan Staten (3) at the end of the Mountaineers 62-61 win over the Jayhawks Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V. Staten scored the final basket for the win.

West Virginia guards Chase Connor, left, and Gary Browne, center, surround Juwan Staten (3) at the end of the Mountaineers 62-61 win over the Jayhawks Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V. Staten scored the final basket for the win.

— Feb. 16 vs. KU: 6 points, 1/6 FGs, 1/2 3s, 3/4 FTs, 3 rebounds (1 offensive), 2 TOs, 1 steal in 24 minutes

Another starting guard described as “day-to-day,” West Virginia could really use one of its better 3-point shooters at Allen Fieldhouse.

In Big 12 games, Browne has knocked down 16 of 48 3-pointers (33.3%). That’s not outstanding, but he has made the second-most 3s on the team in conference.

Browne averages 8.6 points in the league on 38.9% shooting from the field.

On the season, he has made 26 of 72 from 3-point range.

— hoop-math.com update: More likely to shoot jumpers than attack the rim, Browne makes 35.9% of his 2-point jumpers — the range where 26.4% of his attempts comes from. He doesn’t live there as much as he does downtown, but if you can force him there it is to your benefit.

No. 1 — Jonathan Holton, 6-7, junior F

— Feb. 16 vs. KU: 5 points, 2/3 FGs, 1/2 FTs, 9 rebounds (6 offensive), 1 assist, 1 TO, 1 block, 2 steals in 22 mintues

One of many players to destroy KU on the offensive glass just more than two weeks ago, Holton might not have scored much himself, but his 6 offensive rebounds set a tone for WVU’s win.

In Big 12 play, 52% of his rebounds come on the offensive glass, and he averages 5.1 boards a game, while scoring 5.3 points and making 41.1% of his shots.

Holton is coming off a performance of 7 offensive rebounds (10 total) at Baylor, where he scored 7 points.

— hoop-math.com update: More than any of his teammates, Holton operates at the rim, where he takes 64.5% of his shots and makes 61% of those looks. He has 46 put-backs via the offensive glass to lead WVU. 29.7% of his shots at the rim are a result of his rebounding.

No. 4 — Daxter Miles Jr., 6-3, freshman G

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre, Jr. (12) goes out of bound battling for a ball with West Virginia guard Daxter Miles Jr. (4) during the Jayhawks 62-61 loss game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V.

Kansas guard Kelly Oubre, Jr. (12) goes out of bound battling for a ball with West Virginia guard Daxter Miles Jr. (4) during the Jayhawks 62-61 loss game against the West Virginia Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V.

— Feb. 16 vs. KU: 2 points, 1/5 FGs, 0/3 3s, 3 rebounds (1 offensive), 1 assist, 0 TOs in 15 minutes

The freshman has struggled with his shooting in the Big 12:

  • 38-for-97 FGs, 39.2%

  • 14-for-49 3s, 28.6%

  • 11-for-21 FTs, 52.4%

With Staten and Browne unavailable at Baylor, Miles scored 11 points (4-for-9 shooting, 1-for-5 from 3) and dished 5 assists.

That came after a 12-point, 5-steal showing in a win vs. Texas, in which Miles hit 4 of 8 shots and 2 of 4 from 3-point range.

— hoop-math.com update: Only 11.7% of his shot attempts have been 2-point jumpers. He only shoots 19% from that range, and rightfully prefers scoring at the rim (39-for-71) or taking 3-pointers.

MOUNTAINEERS BENCH

No. 2 — Jevon Carter, 6-2, freshman G

None by WVSports.com

— Feb. 16 vs. KU: 13 points, 4/8 FGs, 3/5 3s, 2/2 FTs, 6 rebounds (4 offensive), 1 assist, 1 TO in 29 minutes

We told you before the game at WVU to watch out for this guy off the bench. But who knew he’d kill it on the offensive glass, too, with 4 boards on that end of the floor?

Carter might get a chance to make an even bigger name for himself if Staten and/or Browne can’t play. One of those scenarios would make him a starter, and even more critical to the Mountaineers’ offense.

He started at Baylor and basically became Juwan Staten Jr., scoring 25 points on 7-for-13 shooting from 3-point range. — That is correct. Carter made 7 3-pointers his last time out. — He took 16 shots and 13 came from behind the arc.

While WVU’s style forces teams to turn it over more often than usual, Carter really forces things as a defender, with a team-leading 28 steals in Big 12 play.

In conference, Carter averages 9.4 points and 3.1 rebounds. Plus, the young guard has made 39.4% of his shots, 40.5% of his 3s and 84% of his free throws.

— hoop-math.com update: Third on WVU in FG attempts, most of those come from 3-point range (58%), but Carter also finds his way to the paint, where he converts 58.6% of his shots at the rim (34-for-58).

No. 00 — Jaysean Paige, 6-2, junior G

— Feb. 16 vs. KU: 3 points, 1/2 FGs, 1/2 3s, 1 rebound (on offense), 3 TOs, 1 block in 6 minutes

He only averages 12.7 minutes in the Big 12, but those obviously could go up depending on the health of WVU’s backcourt.

Paige has made 13 of 41 3-pointers in the league and averages 4.7 points.

— hoop-math.com update: A catch-and-shoot guy, each of Paige’s 28 3-point makes this season has come off an assist.

No. 11 Nathan Adrian — 6-9, sophomore F

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) drives past West Virginia forward Nathan Adrian (11) to give the Jayhawks a late 61-60 lead against the Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105  in Morgantown, W.V. West Virginia scored the final basket to defeat KU 62-61.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) drives past West Virginia forward Nathan Adrian (11) to give the Jayhawks a late 61-60 lead against the Mountaineers Monday, February 16, 2105 in Morgantown, W.V. West Virginia scored the final basket to defeat KU 62-61.

— Feb. 16 vs. KU: 2 points, 1/7 FGs, 0/4 3s, 4 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 assist, 0 TOs, 1 steal in 17 minutes

A big man who spends time on the perimeter on offense, Adrian has taken 2.0 3-pointers a game in the Big 12. Unfortunately for WVU, Adrian has made 5 of his 32 tries.

With a 25.4 field-goal percentage to boot, he averages only 2.8 points in the league.

— hoop-math.com nugget: He’d probably be better off getting more looks at the rim, but Adrian is a big guy who likes to jack 3-pointers (that’s where 56.3% of his shots come from). At the rim, he converts 65.4% of his attempts. But only 25.2% of his shots are taken there.

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