MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Two weeks ago, college basketball fans in the Ohio Valley got an opportunity to catch coach Bob Huggins’ nationally ranked West Virginia University Mountaineers.
This Saturday, folks in the southern part of the state will get their chance to see the Mountaineers in person in an exhibition game against WVU Tech at the King Coal Beckley Automall Arena.
The contest will tip at 6 p.m., so there will be plenty of time for WVU football fans to catch the Oklahoma State game on television before going to the men’s basketball game on Saturday evening.
Huggins said Thursday his No. 1 objective on Saturday is to see his team take better care of the basketball. Turnovers have been his top concern so far during preseason workouts.
“If we take care of the ball we’ll be pretty good,” he said. “Generally speaking, we’re making shots. We just have to value possessions better and that’s probably everybody at this time of year.”
Plenty of activities are scheduled beginning with a Friday pep rally from 5-6 p.m. at King Coal Beckley Automall Arena featuring entertainment provided by cheerleaders from both schools, team mascots and the WVU Dance Team.
Afterward, fans are invited to stick around and watch West Virginia’s open practice lasting until 7:30 p.m. Following the workout, WVU players and coaches will be available on the court to sign autographs.
And then prior to Saturday’s game, fans are invited to stop by Word Park on Neville Street between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a free family fun zone and street fair.
“When we go in and hopefully there is a nice turnout and a bunch of kids come out for the open practice I think that will kind of get the juices flowing,” said Huggins. “(His players will) be excited about Saturday.”
Ongoing construction work to the Coliseum’s concourse has necessitated the team taking its two preseason events on the road this fall.
Earlier this month, West Virginia conducted its annual Gold-Blue Debut team scrimmage before an estimated crowd of 4,207 at WesBanco Arena in downtown Wheeling. Senior forward Nathan Adrian
scored a scrimmage-best 19 points for the Blue team, which lost to the Gold 55-45.
Freshman guard James Bolden
led the Gold with 12 points.
On Saturday, WVU Tech will be the latest local college to face the Mountaineers on the hardwood. Last year, West Virginia defeated Glenville State, 114-76, at the WVU Coliseum and two years ago, Shepherd dropped a 109-60 decision to WVU in Morgantown.
West Virginia also defeated Fairmont State in a preseason game to tip off the 2013-14 season.
There will be no live video stream of Saturday’s game, but the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG will provide live radio coverage on select affiliates throughout West Virginia and online via leanStream
and the mobile app TuneIn.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased by logging on to the Mountaineer Ticket Office website WVUGAME.com
or at Little General stores in Raleigh County.
West Virginia opens the regular season against Mount St. Mary’s on Friday, November 11, at 7 p.m. in a game that will be televised locally on ROOT Sports.
Tickets for Mount St. Mary’s and all home games are still available and can be purchased by logging onto WVUGAME.com.