The West Virginia University basketball team will be playing in the state of Kansas for the first time in its history, and WVU coach Bob Huggins will be going up against one of his former teams.
The Mountaineers, 4-2, will tangle with Kansas State, 5-0, today on a neutral court in Wichita in a 9 p.m. game that will be televised on ESPN2.
Huggins guided Kansas State to a 23-12 record during the 2006-07 season.
The Inter-Mountain Photo by Andrew Davis
West Virginia University coach Bob Huggins, left, talks to guard Truck Bryant during a contest this season at the Coliseum. Huggins will be facing his former team, Kansas State, for the first time today.
"This (game) is in Wichita," said Huggins as he dismissed the idea of returning to an old home. "It's 130 miles away from Manhattan."
The two schools have met once before, and K-State won that game 49044 on Dec. 12, 1949, in Morgantown.
Four of the five starters for Kansas State are scoring in double figures, led by senior forward Jamar Samuels. Samuels is averaging 13 points and nine rebounds per game.
Forward Thomas Gipson is averaging 12 points and seven rebounds per game, and guard Will Spradling is chipping in with another 12 points per night.
Guard Rodney McGruder is averaging 11.8 points per game.
Despite the high-scoring starting lineup, Huggins has been more impressed with his opponent's defense.
"You watch all of their games, and nobody runs offenses," he said. "They are like we were for the last four years. We could take them out of what they want to run, and they end up having to try to spread you and play one-one-one."
Kevin Jones continues to lead the Mountaineers in both scoring (19.8 ppg) and rebounding (11.7 rpg) this season.
Deniz Kilicli is pulling down 6.5 rebounds per contest to go along with his 11.2 points per game.
Guards Darryl "Truck" Bryant and Jabarie Hinds are scoring at a 14.2 and 11.5 points per game clip.
The Mountaineers will return home Saturday night for a game against Miami.