Depending on Ahmad's conditioning and rustiness - possibly mitigated by his ability to continue practicing these past three months - he figures to deliver an immediate impact when WVU visits No. 8 Texas Tech in the nation's marquee game Saturday.
No. 8 Texas Tech (14-2, 3-1 Big 12) hosts No. 2 West Virginia (15-1, 4-0 Big 12) at United Supermarkets Arena.
Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said he's preparing like Ahmad "will play every minute of the game".
"Senior guard Niem Stevenson (6'5" 205-lbs) averages 7.8 points per game and 3.1 rebounds.
Carter sank a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds remaining to draw the Mountaineers within a point, but the Red Raiders inbounded the ball and ran out the clock.
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IN shut out the Cavs over the final 3:57 and twice stopped James when he could have given the Cavs the lead. DeMar DeRozan , who's been on a scoring tear as of late, finished with just 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting.
Tech's biggest strength in the first half was free throws as the Red Raiders shot ideal on their 14 attempts. Smith leads in rebounds with 4.4 while Evans tops in assists with 1.4 per game.
"Senior guard Justin Gray (6'6" 210-lbs) averages 5.6 points per game and 3.6 rebounds. Brandone Francis also gave TT a big lift with 17 points off the bench. Defensively, Texas Tech yields 60.2 points per game against the opposing teams. Following a game of being held in the thirtieth percentile in field goal percentage, West Virginia increases their average by 13.2%.
When these two teams last met, it was West Virginia's dynamic duo of Naomi Davenport and Teana Muldrow who carried the day. Midway through the second half, the Red Raiders cut the lead to one as they continued to comeback. King played over 30 minutes in each of the last two games, and on Wednesday pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Add in the most consistent offensive player Lamont West, the poise of Jevon Carter and the big plays of Daxter Miles Jr late in the games, I believe the Mountaineers pull away in the final minutes to win the game.
Teddy Allen will have to bounce back this game and with Esa coming back it's going to be too much offense for Texas Tech.