MORGANTOWN-The two programs have not met on the gridiron since the 2005 campaign or on the basketball court since the 2003-04 season, but that will all change at 4 p.m. today when unbeaten Virginia Tech (7-0) comes to the Coliseum to take on host West Virginia University (3-3).
Both teams are coming off of impressive victories as the Hokies of first-year head coach James Johnson knocked off No. 15 Oklahoma State by an 81-71 score while Bob Huggins' Mountaineers overcame a poor shooting night en route to defeating instate rival Marshall, 69-59, on Wednesday.
Tech features one of the top offensive players in the country in senior guard Erick Green, who leads the ACC and is second nationally in scoring with a 24.9 point per game average. But, the Hokies are anything, but a one-man team.
Junior forward Jarell Eddie ranks third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring with a 17.1 points per game norm while sophomore guard Robert Brown chips in 13.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per outing. Rounding out the probable starting lineup for the visitors will be sophomore C.J. Barksdale (5.6 ppg) at the other forward and redshirt junior Cadarian Raines (9.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg) at the center slot.
West Virginia will counter with a probable starting lineup that includes seniors Deniz Kilicli and Jabarie Hinds at forward and guard, respectively, with junior Aaric Murray, sophomore Juwan Staten and freshman Terry Henderson rounding out the unit.
That lineup may change, however, as Hinds, Murray and Henderson were among four players ejected from the Mountaineers' win over Marshall earlier in the week. Eron Harris was the other player told to leave the Civic Center's court at the 1:37 mark of the second half.
Virginia Tech (7-0)
at West Virginia (3-3)
Game time: 4 p.m. today
A flagrant foul on the Thundering Herd's Robert Goff against WVU's Staten resulted in a confrontation on the court. That, then, resulted in the Mountaineer players leaving the bench area-which resulted in the ejections.
"The official told me that they would be ejected for this (Marshall) game only," Huggins explained following the Mountaineers' third win of the season. "We don't expect them to miss any further games because of what happened."
Kilicli, who tallied a game-high 21 points on Wednesday, leads the team with an 11.3 points per game average while Staten is close behind at 11 points per outing. Six other players average five points or better-Murray (9.7), Gary Browne (9.2), Hinds (8.3), Henderson (6.5), Keaton Miles (5.5) and Harris (5.0).
WVU also will regain the services of Ukrainian freshman forward Volodymyr Gerun, who was required to sit out the team's first six games because the NCAA determined that he played three games on a professional team in the Ukraine during the 2011 season.
The game is slated to be televised on ESPN2.