The West Virginia University men’s basketball team won’t be taking Mountain State University lightly in today’s exhibition game at the Coliseum.

“We remember that they played us tough and close for a long time last year before we finally pulled away in the last four or five minutes,” point guard Joe Mazzulla recalled. “So we know it’s not going to be an easy game.

“They are a pretty good team, and we’re tired of going against ourselves. We’re ready to play different personnel. We know the plays that we run, and we know where each player is on the floor and what each does.

“I think we have improved tremendously since we began preseason practice. But the young guys are still learning and don’t really know what’s going on yet. This should help them.”

Tip-off time is 1 p.m. Reserved seat tickets are priced at $22. WVU students will be admission by a valid ID.

Coach Bob Huggins must replace three starters in his second season at WVU as the head coach. He has not announced a starting lineup.

Mountain State’s Cougars have topped 100 points in posting a 3-0 record, the most recent 101-69 against West Virginia Wesleyan at Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center last Tuesday night.

Bob Bolen has built a highly successful program at MSU. He has said this obviously will be his team’s toughest game of the year.

“But the great thing about it is we get to face that competition, and when we get on the bus to come home, no matter what the outcome, we’re still 3-0,” he told Dave Morrison, sports editor of The Register-Herald.

“We know what kind of mountain we face up there. But we’re going to try and climb it.”

Da’Sean Butler, 6-7, 225-pound junior forward, said, “We’re definitely ready to play a game after last week’s scrimmage at Virginia. We want to play against somebody else. They’ll throw things at us which will help.

“That also should be beneficial to our young guys. (Mountain State) is very, very quick. Last year they got to the ball quick. They played good defense, too.”

“Hopefully, we’ll have a good turnout of fans, we’ll win the game and make the coach happy.”

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