Michael Grove, West Virginia

West Virginia's Michael Grove has been electric as of late. (WVU photo)


West Virginia Wants To Leave No Doubt

Weekend Spotlight

West Virginia wants to leave nothing to chance this season.

As the final out of its season was recorded last year, WVU head coach Randy Mazey would be right to say the Mountaineers were one of the hottest teams in the country. They finished the season winning 17 of 21 games and had a 36-22 overall record along with a 12-11 Big 12 record. Those would be solid metrics in the rugged Big 12 this year. But last year? The league had an RPI problem and only Texas Tech, TCU and Oklahoma State made their way to the postseason. Despite the hot finish, WVU simply didn’t have the RPI to get into the NCAA postseason at 54.

It was a grueling feeling. The Mountaineers were sizzling and they were ready for the postseason. But they didn’t take care of business in the early part of the season and paid the price for it.

They learned a valuable lesson. This year, WVU has the opposite of an RPI problem. It has an RPI luxury. The Mountaineers have had some setbacks, such as losing series to Tulane, Charlotte and Old Dominion. However, they also have a pair of wins over Coastal Carolina and conference series wins over Baylor and Oklahoma State.

As it stands, the Mountaineers still need to finish the second half strong, but have an RPI of 15 with a non-conference SOS of 33 and an overall SOS of 42. Without a doubt, WVU would be in the postseason if the season ended today.

They hope to make sure that doesn’t change with red-hot TCU in Morgantown this weekend.

“We’re not going to put too much into one series. We feel like we’ve put ourselves in pretty good position, so we’re not getting too high or low this weekend,” Mazey said. “We want to continue getting better as a team and have the ability to catch fire at the end of the year. We caught fire at the end of last year, but it’s different. We had an RPI of 110 when we did that last year.

“We came into the year thinking that we needed to make sure our RPI was going to be good going into league play. Fortunately, it was and the league has been good this year,” he continued. “We got walked off a couple of times during our spring trip, and our guys responded well. We’re very capable as a team, but we’ve got some depth issues right now because of some injuries.”

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