Austin, Texas — Three takeaways from West Virginia’s 61-54 loss at Texas on Saturday night:
1. Point guard oddities
Already a revolving door, West Virginia’s point guard rotation turned even cloudier.
With suspended freshman Brandon Knapper left behind in Morgantown, walk-on Taevon Horton became the fifth point guard to start a game this season. It turned out to be merely a cameo for the Fairmont product, who exited at the 17:44 mark and did not return.
Jermaine Haley continued to mix in point guard duties while playing 29 minutes, and fellow freshman Jordan McCabe played a season-high 28 minutes.
Knapper had appeared in the prior 13 games, averaging 4.9 points in 13 minutes.
2. Culver looking comfortable
With center Sagaba Konate still on crutches, freshman Derek Culver continued emerging as West Virginia’s top offensive option.
He finished 8-of-12 from the floor and grabbed five of his nine rebounds on the offensive end. While his left-handed jump hook remained reliable, Culver even made one right-handed from 10 feet over UT’s 6-9 Dylan Osetkoewski.
It was a 17-point performance (in only 22 minutes) that gives WVU hope for what can be achieved if Konate and Culver can ever play in tandem.
3. Trends and streaks
For the second straight game, West Virginia shut out the opponent’s leading scorer for a half. On Wednesday, Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver couldn’t scratch early. This time, Longhorns point guard Kerwin Roach was held without a bucket until making a driving layup on the opening possession of the second half.
Once Texas went up 5-4, West Virginia trailed the rest of the way, despite having 12 opportunities to tie or take the lead.
West Virginia had been 6-0 in Big 12 road openers.
The Mountaineers slipped to 2-5 inside the Erwin Center.