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Charleston Classic Preview & Game Thread: Marquette Golden Eagles vs West Virginia Mountaineers

The Golden Eagles face off with their old Big East rival in the semifinals of the tournament.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

THE VITALS: Marquette Golden Eagles (4-0) vs West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0)

THE DATE: Friday, November 19, 2021

THE TIME: 6pm Central

THE LOCATION: TD Arena, Charleston, South Carolina

THE TELEVISION: ESPN2, probably with Rich Hollenberg and Debbie Antonelli on the call

THE STREAMING: WatchESPN.com

THE RADIO: 94.5 ESPN Milwaukee, available through Wisconsin On Demand, with Steve “The Homer” True and Tony Smith on the call

THE LIVE STATS: Stat Broadcast

THE LINE: Nothing yet from our friends at Draft Kings.

THE PROJECTION: KenPom.com gives West Virginia a 65% chance of victory with a predicted score of 75-70.

THE EXCITEMENT LEVEL: KenPom.com gives this game a Thrill Score of 60.1, making it the third most potentially exciting game out of the 59 Division 1 games scheduled for the day.

MARQUETTE PROJECTED LINEUP

  • Darryl Morsell (22.5 pts, 3.8 rebs, 2.8 ast)
  • Tyler Kolek (8.0 pts, 3.3 rebs, 5.8 ast, 1.5 stl)
  • Olivier-Maxence Prosper (4.3 pts, 4.0 rebs, 1.3 stl)
  • Justin Lewis (18.0 pts, 8.8 rebs, 1.3 stl)
  • Kur Kuath (5.0 pts, 3.5 reb, 3.3 blk)

MARQUETTE LINEUP NOTE: Greg Elliott is eligible to make his season debut for the Golden Eagles tonight. Elliott was suspended for Marquette’s exhibition game and the first four games of the regular season by head coach Shaka Smart for what the coach called a “lapse in judgment.”

WEST VIRGINIA PROJECTED LINEUP

  • Kedrian Johnson (5.0 pts, 2.3 rebs, 2.7 ast, 4.3 stl)
  • Sean McNeil (12.7 pts, 3.0 rebs, 2.3 ast)
  • Taz Sherman (20.7 pts, 3.7 rebs, 3.7 ast, 2.0 stl)
  • Jalen Bridges (10.7 pts, 4.3 rebs, 2.3 blk)
  • Isaiah Cottrell (6.3 pts, 3.3 rebs, 1.3 blk)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Okay, so. Last night’s West Virginia/Elon game went on after Marquette’s game against Ole Miss. That means that if there was going to be a full sized preview of today’s game, it had to wait until after that game ended. Let’s be honest: I don’t have time to write one for both teams knowing that I am going to delete one of them AND I’m not starting a full fledged preview at 11pm.

Instead, I’m going to write a little bit about how both teams play basketball here, and by the time you see this in the morning, only one of them will still be there! Neat, huh?

West Virginia came into Charleston after two home wins, one bigger than the other, but not the way you think. They opened the season with a seven point win over Oakland and the Fightin’ Jamal Cains. Taz Sherman was WVU’s top scorer in that game with 18 points, while Gabe Osabuohien led the ‘Eers in rebounding with nine. Game #2 had the brand name opponent in Pitt, but not as much thrilling basketball action. West Virginia beat the Panthers 74-59, and that lead was in double digits for the entire second half. Not only was the Pitt game less competitive, it was also the less impressive opponent for the Mountaineers, as Pitt has dropped to #167 in KenPom, a full 17 spots behind Oakland.

ANYWAY, Jalen Bridges led the Mountaineers in scoring there with 18 alongside 17 from Sherman. Bridges added six rebounds, and Kedrian Johnson had six assists.

In terms of big picture stuff, West Virginia has struggled a bit on offense. They’re turning the ball over a bit too much at 20% of the time, and they’re only hitting 30% of their three-point shots. They’re making up for this by turning their opponents over on 41% of possessions, so at least for now, it definitely seems like Press Virginia is back and at full strength. If you can get to the point where you can get a shot off against the Mountaineers, then there’s a 50/50 shot you can grab your miss. That’s not a joke. They are letting opponents pull in 49.2% of their misses through their first two games of the season. That’s good news for a Marquette team that’s been struggling a bit with their shot to this point of the year.

WVU is also doing a really good job at running their opponents off the three-point line, as only 28% of shots against them have been long range bombs. Now, here’s the thing: WVU is letting teams shoot 53% against them on two-pointers. On threes? Just 20.7%. Sure, to a certain degree, three-point shooting percentage defense is just a crapshoot of luck, but when you’re bad at defending the other thing and teams are struggling with the thing you’re not letting them do…. Maybe let them do more of the thing they’re bad at?

WE ARE REQUIRED TO SHOW THIS VIDEO AT THIS TIME:

THE FULL CHARLESTON CLASSIC SCHEDULE FOR TODAY:

11am Central: Boise State Broncos vs Temple, ESPNU
1:30pm Central: #22 St. Bonaventure vs Clemson Tigers, ESPN2
6pm Central: Marquette vs West Virginia, ESPN2
8:30pm Central: Ole Miss vs Elon, ESPN3/WatchESPN