MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It’s been a quiet couple of weeks at the WVU Coliseum. Bob Huggins’ team hasn’t played on its home court since Dec. 22. For Mike Carey’s squad, it’s been even longer. The last women’s basketball game in Morgantown was on Dec. 7 vs. Charlotte. However, that won’t be the case for much longer as the venue will host a hoops doubleheader on Saturday.
The WVU men will take the floor first. It’s a 2 p.m. tilt with Kansas State. Both teams were shorthanded their last time out. The Mountaineers played at Texas on Saturday without the Big 12’s leading scorer Taz Sherman, one of their top defenders Gabe Osabuohien and freshman guard Kobe Johnson due to health and safety protocols. They were originally scheduled to play at TCU on Monday, but before they left for the Lone Star State, that game was postponed due to the Horned Frogs pausing all team activities.
“It’s been difficult. It’s hard to practice,” head coach Bob Huggins said in an exclusive interview for this week’s Bob Huggins Show. “You don’t have guys to practice, so you end up 3-on-3, 4-on-4 a lot. And preparations for who you are going to play because you don’t know who is really going to play, and who says they aren’t going to play and then they are going to play. It’s been rough, and we ended up playing the team that had everyone at first instead of a team who was undermanned like we were.”
The Longhorns were at full strength for that 74-59 win. A few days later, Texas also had the advantage over K-State as they found themselves in a similar situation. On Tuesday, the Wildcats were without head coach Bruce Weber and seven players. Texas won 70-57.
When WVU and KSU clash on Saturday, the home team will be back to a full roster according to Coach Huggins. The visitors will be quite the opposite.
On Friday, Coach Weber said he was ready to head to practice and packed for the trip to Morgantown before he found out he wasn’t able to attend either as he did not clear the health and safety protocols. Weber will be staying back in Manhattan along with a number of players and coaches.
“I’m on day six, so technically with the new rules, I could test out. I tested this morning and did not test out,” Weber said. “We had four people total try to test this morning, players and coaches, only one tested negative and can go on the trip.”
Weber added a few other members “went down” since that Texas game, including assistant coach Shane Southwell who assumed the head coaching duties for that contest. He said coach Jermaine Henderson and graduate assistant Zach Price will be available.
“They ran practice today and yesterday and will be trying to do their best tomorrow at West Virginia,” Weber said of the two available coaches.
Seven scholarship players will be available, including starter Markquis Nowell, who has missed the past two games for the Cats. Weber said Nowell has completed his 10-day isolation period and was able to practice today and is able to play in the game. As for the scholarship player who was added to the unavailable list, Weber was tight-lipped.
“No sense in giving an advantage to the opponent. You’ll see who shows up at warms ups tomorrow,” he said.
West Virginia and Kansas State tip off at 2 p.m. Saturday. Gold and Blue Nation’s pregame coverage begins at 9 a.m. with a brand new episode of the Bob Huggins Show. Mountaineer GameDay: Hoops Edition makes its return at 10 a.m. Check your local listings for more details on airtimes and availability in your area.