There’s no way getting around the fact West Virginia’s nonconference schedule was abysmal early on. I’d say Prairie View and University of Maryland-Eastern Shore were among the worst opponents ever at the Coliseum. Yet the strength of schedule is No. 102, which isn’t awful when you consider Prairie View is No. 283 and UMES is No. 311. That’s a hell of an anchor.
Anyhow, Auburn was a nice test and Duquesne is going to win in the Atlantic 10. We also hear that Saturday’s opponent, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, is not to be overlooked, that according to ESPN.com’s Weekly Watch, which put WVU on upset alert!
â€¢ Saturday: Maryland-Baltimore County over West Virginia, 4 p.m. ET
The Mountaineers are transitioning into the Bob Huggins style of basketball and are off to a good start. They had SEC favorite Tennessee on the ropes before losing, 74-72. Guard Alex Ruoff leads the team in scoring (16.5 points), and forward Joe Alexanderis the top rebounder (7.0 boards). Tough defense and attacking the rim on offense has been the formula for success for WVU. UMBC has gained confidence through early-season success with wins over three A-10 schools (at LaSalle, at Richmond and GW). Coach Randy Monroe has scoring balance with four players Brian Hodges (18.8 points), Ray Barbosa (16.2 points), Darryl Proctor (14.8 points) and Cavell Johnson(14.3 points). Senior guard Hodges leads$ the attack, and transfers Barbosa (James Madison) and Proctor (Coppin State) are eligible and contributing. Johnson, another James Madison transfer, was named to the preseason All-America East first team. The Retrievers may have the experience and confidence to give the West Virginia faithful something to worry about.