Men's Basketball, WVU Sports

West Virginia seeks first road win of season against struggling Oklahoma State

MORGANTOWN — If there are two sides of the fence, the WVU men’s basketball team has seen the grass on either side.

The Mountaineers have seen both sides of the coin and they know all about the good the bad and the ugly.

They’ve lived it all in the span of just two games.

“We’ve proven we can beat anybody in the country, but we’ve proven we can lose to anybody in the country,” is the way WVU head coach Josh Eilert explained the situation on his weekly radio show.


WVU (7-12, 2-4 Big 12) looked like world-beaters in knocking off No. 3 Kansas. Three days later, the Mountaineers looked confused, frustrated and had no chemistry in a road loss against UCF.

Uncertainty now awaits the Mountaineers, who face a must-win situation Saturday in Stillwater, Okla.

It’s critical in that Oklahoma State (8-11, 0-6) is the one school in the Big 12 who has struggled to string together success at the same level as WVU.

The stats tell you why. The two lowest-scoring teams in the Big 12 are WVU and Oklahoma State.

The two schools who have allowed the most points? You guessed it, WVU and Oklahoma State.

If there was ever a road win waiting for these Mountaineers, this trip to Gallagher-Iba Arena — WVU hasn’t won there since 2021 — is it.

Therein lies the uncertainty. WVU hasn’t won a true road game this season. It hasn’t won any game away from the Coliseum this season, sporting an 0-4 mark in neutral-court games, too.

WVU also hasn’t played with a full roster in any game, which is expected to change against the Cowboys.

Jesse Edwards, a transfer from Syracuse who is averaging 14.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, has missed nine games following surgery on his right wrist. Eilert said the plan is to “ease” Edwards back into action against Oklahoma State, but there is still a huge amount of caution being used.

“The biggest thing I’m concerned about his movement with his wrist,” Eilert said. “As soon as they realize he can’t take a jump shot and are fouling every living you-know-what out of him, he’s going to go to the line over and over. Well, he can’t shoot that thing from the free-throw line over and over.

“I don’t think he could make it look even halfway decent, so if the opponent gets to the point where they say, ‘This is the strategy, we’re just going to foul Jesse every time he touches it down low,’ it could be counterproductive.”

The flip side is having Edwards on the floor now opens up different options for WVU offensively, keeping defenses from focusing solely on guard RaeQuan Battle.

“I think people are going to really love that combination with Jesse and Kerr (Kriisa) and the scoring options we have around those two,” Eilert said. “There will be a lot less pressure on RaeQuan.

“They can’t key as much and will have to do a lot more tagging on the roll man (in pick-and-roll plays), because we’re not much of a threat on the short roll, but we will be with Jesse out there.”


WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Okla.
TV: ESPN+ (Online subscription needed)