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Kansas-West Virginia Preview

AP - Sports

Kansas is the Big 12's top shooting team while West Virginia allows opponents to shoot the highest percentage.

Making matters worse for the Mountaineers is coach Bob Huggins' 0-7 all-time mark against the Jayhawks.

Each team will likely be missing a starter as No. 8 Kansas looks to improve to 4-0 in the all-time series Saturday in Morgantown.

Kansas (23-7, 14-3) is among the nation's best teams at 49.8 percent from the field while West Virginia (16-14, 8-9) is allowing foes to shoot 44.6 percent.

The Jayhawks, who have already clinched the Big 12 title, shot 54.9 percent in winning 83-69 at home over the Mountaineers on Feb. 8. Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points and fellow freshman Wayne Selden Jr. added 17.

Another freshman, 7-footer Joel Embiid, came through with 11 points and 12 rebounds in 17 foul-plagued minutes, but he will miss a second straight game to rest a lower back strain. The Jayhawks hope Embiid, who could be the top overall pick in the NBA draft if he decides to leave, will return for the Big 12 tournament.

"Joel will definitely not play on Saturday and we'll wait and see how things go obviously moving forward after that," coach Bill Self said.

Self inserted Memphis transfer Tarik Black into the lineup in Embiid's place in Wednesday's 82-57 rout of Texas Tech. Black matched the school record for field goal attempts without a miss by making nine shots and scoring 19 points in his final home game.

"It's an awful thing, isn't it?" Huggins said. "You lose the No. 1 pick in the draft and you replace him with a former McDonald's All-American. They're good, they're so talented everywhere."

Huggins pointed out that his team had a chance in the first meeting, as the Mountaineers trailed by four points with less than five minutes remaining. Third-leading scorer Terry Henderson was held to two points and three turnovers.

Henderson, scoring 12.1 points per game, has missed the last four contests with an illness and likely won't play Saturday. Nathan Adrian has averaged 6.8 points while taking Henderson's place in the lineup.

West Virginia's Juwan Staten is averaging a league-best 19.7 points in Big 12 games, and he led the way with 24 in Wednesday's 72-62 loss at No. 23 Oklahoma.

Second-leading scorer Eron Harris fouled out with five points as he made 2 of 9 shots.

"A lot of that's on Eron," Huggins said. "We run obviously a lot of sets for Eron and I think Eron's execution in the sets has to get better."

Harris made 3 of 10 shots but went 8 for 8 from the foul line and scored 17 points in the first meeting. Staten scored 22 on 7-of-12 shooting.

Self said that he believes that Wiggins will earn Big 12 player of the year honors. Wiggins was acknowledged by the Allen Fieldhouse crowd Wednesday in his final home game before he leaves for the NBA.

''I wish I had more time to stay here and do my thing, just be here with the team and the coaches and all these wonderful fans,'' Wiggins said. ''That's one of the reasons I committed here. I came here on senior night and the fans were so loyal.''

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Sep 4 9:00 am
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