Another top ten opponent for the Irish, this time at home. They'll need to extend the effort put forth against Connecticut for a full forty minutes tomorrow.
Pomeroy Ranking- 8th
Record- 12-1 (3-0)
Best Win- Marquette (ranked 25th)
Worst Loss- Purdue (ranked 6th)- Much to my chagrin, the Paint Crew is looking very, very good this year.
Pomeroy Prediction- West Virginia 80-72
#1 Da'Sean Butler- 16.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 35.8% 3PA- Has always been a very talented wing who can both score and rebound, but has become a bit less selfish in his senior season, averaging 3.5 assists per contest. Even though he is taking two fewer shots per game than last season, his scoring average has remained high due to a field goal percentage that is almost six points higher than a year ago.
#5 Kevin Jones- 15.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 45.7% 3PA- This sophomore big could teach Harangody a thing or two about shooting the three. He's made one more three pointer in fifteen fewer attempts this year. Also has been great at scoring close to the hoop, with a 65% clip inside the arc. Just under half of his rebounds this year have come on offense and you can bet that many of those buckets were second-chance points.
#3 Devin Ebanks- 13.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG- Like Butler, he has had some success finding open scorers (3.1 APG). Missed significant playing time earlier in the year for unexplained personal reasons. Though most of the Mountaineers struggle with free throws, Ebanks is not the guy you want to foul. He's at 82% for the season. Da'Sean Butler is second on the team, just slightly under 80% himself.
Just like last year, they attack the offensive glass with tenacity. They don't shoot an overly impressive percentage from the field but have built a top five offense out of second-chance points.
Play pretty good, physical defense. A few blocks and forced turnovers here and there combined with contested shots have them giving up less than 0.9 points per possession.
Can go nine or ten deep, which is important for a physical Huggins team.
EDIT: In othe news, good luck to Chris Quinn as he hopes to revive his career in New Jersey. He had found some success for a few years in Miami but had gotten buried on the Heat depth chart this year. He still remains one of the more surprising Notre Dame professional stories and one of my alltime favorite Irish players.