Pitt Hoops Game Preview: Pitt vs. West Virginia

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Head Coach Jeff Capel signals from the sideline while standing in front of the Oakland Zoo

*Sorry in advance for the abbreviated game preview for the Backyard Brawl, as I’m out of town for a wedding and I don’t have full access to my technology. Still, I hope you find the Dream Backfield game preview useful in preparing for Friday’s big game.*

Pitt (2-1) comes into the 2019 men’s basketball Backyard Brawl off of a 71-57 win against Robert Morris on their turf. West Virginia (1-0) comes into Friday’s matchup having played just one game so far this season, a 94-84 win over Akron in Morgantown. Still, coming off of a home loss to Nicholls State on Saturday, Jeff Capel’s Panthers will want to post a strong showing against the Colonials tomorrow night.

Fast Facts

  • The Panthers and Mountaineers have faced off 116 times on the court heading into Friday’s contest. West Virginia has won 70 of those games, while Pitt has won just 46.
  • This will be Pitt and West Virginia’s third matchup since conference realignment sent the Panthers to the ACC and the Mountaineers to the Big 12. West Virginia has won the first two of those matches (69-60 in Pittsburgh in 2017; 69-59 in Morgantown in 2018).
  • This is West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins’ 13th season at the helm for West Virginia. He boasts a career 271-151 record and nine NCAA tournament appearances with the Mountaineers.

West Virginia Preview

West Virginia returns just one of its top three scorers from a year ago, in sophomore forward Derek Culver. Culver is an excellent player, though, who posted an outstanding 11.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game last year as a true freshman. Last season, Culver did not play against Pitt, as he saw his first game action on Dec. 22, 2018 against