CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's first game since losing to No. 15 Minnesota on Sunday in the final of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off comes Saturday against a team that will either give the Mountaineers a chance to improve or really worry about some weaknesses.
Virginia Military Institute, the high-scoring establishment from the Big South Conference, enters the Charleston Civic Center for the 7 p.m. tipoff to its best start in the program's modern era.
The game is the final part of a tripleheader that's preceded by the University of Charleston playing Ballarmine (Ky.) at
2 p.m. and West Virginia State versus Virginia State at 4.
The Keydets are 5-0 for the first time since 1921 and are averaging 95.8 points with games of 106 and 120 points already.
"They're going to present a challenge because they play so fast," WVU Coach Bob Huggins said. "They really run up and down the floor and shoot just an ungodly amount of threes.
"And they're small. They're small and they've all got ball skills, though they do start a 7-footer. They're going to bring in primarily smaller guys, so we have to do a better job with perimeter defense."
VMI shoots a lot and while it will play faster than WVU, it also will have to oppose WVU's size at the basket.
The Mountaineers (3-1), who played only one regular-season game against a Division I team before the Puerto Rico tournament, were outrebounded by the Gophers in the final and outplayed in the frontcourt.
WVU finished even on rebounds against Vanderbilt and only one better than Davidson.
"We don't block anybody out," Huggins said. "Defensively, we're not blocking anybody out. We just kind of stand there watching, which is a hard way to get a rebound.
"I think it's a by-product of not having many guys who've played a lot of minutes on the front line. We've got veteran guys in the backcourt. We don't have any veteran guys on the front line."
WVU committed 82 fouls in the three games and went through stretches where the defense didn't get back to stop the opposing offense, or couldn't keep guards out of the paint.