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January 28, 2013
West Virginia (9-10, 2-4) will host current Big 12 Conference favorite Kansas (18-1, 6-0) on Big Monday tonight at 9 p.m. and the Jayhawks will provide one of the most difficult matchups to date.
"There's a lot of things obviously. They've got great balance and I think they're very, very good defensively. They don't beat themselves, they do a great job of ball security and really don't get out of sorts," West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said.
The Jayhawks are led by freshman guard Ben McLemore, who averages 16.2 points per game during his first season at Kansas and has proven he isn't afraid to take the big shots, Huggins said.
"He's terrific, he's got great athleticism, he's got great lift and he's an outstanding shooter," he said.
Rounding out top options for the Jayhawks is a pair of seniors in center Jeff Withey and guard Travis Releford. Withey is one of the prominent shot blockers in college basketball and swats 4.3 per game to go along with 13 points.
"Withey around the goal erases a lot of mistakes and changes a lot of thoughts," he said.
West Virginia is no stranger to big conference home games after spending time in the Big East, but Huggins said he doesn't believe that there has been the excitement you'd expect with one of the nation's top teams coming to town. And he's quick to point fingers at why.
"I'm sure we have a lot to do with it, with our play," he said.
The head man once again reiterated that this is something he "never saw coming," with the struggles the Mountaineers have encountered up to this point and the goal for tonight is simple.
"I'd just like to win one," he said.
When asked about the conference and potential expansion, Huggins said he does prefer the round robin schedule to determine a true champion but understands that other leagues are adding members.
"I'm trying to figure out how to guard a pick and roll right now," he said.
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