College basketball kicks off its season this weekend, and the Mountaineers will begin its season against Montreat. In a game that should be an easy win for the Mountaineers, it will be interesting to finally see what kind of rotation and starting lineups we shall see from the Mountaineers. Most of the starting lineup is set, but the first players off the bench are what we are most looking forward to seeing. The starting lineup should include, in no order, Nathan Healy, Jamal Trice, Jay Canty, Tab Hamilton, and Chris Burgess. If Trice is not ready to play, Brian Okam would be the most likely candidate to fill his spot, as the Mountaineers would go with a bigger lineup. Burgess will man the point until Mike Neal regains his eligibility.
On the day of each Mountaineer game, Vegas odds will be posted in games that warrant interest for the men’s games. The Montreats of the world do not garner such interest. We will choose a line, sometimes in favor of the Mountaineers, and sometimes not, depending on how we feel about the game, and keep track of our record throughout the season. There is no actual money being wagered, this is just a fun thing to do during the season.
Looking at Men’s schedule, we have decided to place a total on the number of wins we expect for this season. We feel there are about 6 games on this schedule that we can consider coin flips, and any record that results in a record over .500 would be considered a success for a team that is so young. So, we fearlessly predict 14.5 wins for Jason Capel’s squad. We realistically believe, in a worst-case scenario, this team will win 11-12 games, while in a best case scenario, this team is looking at 17-18 wins, including conference tournament play. However, the number we are going to with is 14.5 for an over/under number for this team.
On the Women’s side, the team has 28 regular season games scheduled, and it will probably be much easier to gauge how well this team will do compared to the men. There are three games that most would point at, would be guaranteed losses early in the season, against Virginia Tech, Xavier & West Virginia. I believe this team could possibly upset one of these schools, and it would not surprise me. In conference play, this team is staring at a record somewhere in the 16-4 to 18-2 range. Samford, Chattanooga and Davidson are the competition in this conference and most likely these teams will decide the conference race. We are going to with a pretty high number, as out of conference teams could test the Mountaineers, but we have confidence in this team. We would expect a record falling somewhere in the 21-7 to 23-5 range in the regular season, but would not be surprised if their record ended up better than that. Tonight’s game against Lees-McRae should be an ugly win.