West Virginia forces Manhattan into an incredible 40 turnovers in 40 minutes
Teams that play Bob Huggins' Mountaineers are turning the ball over 35 percent of the time this season
Forty turnovers in 40 minutes?
But Manhattan committed 40 Monday night. And it should surprise nobody that the Jaspers' opponent was West Virginia, which entered with college basketball's best defensive turnover percentage. Before West Virginia-Manhattan even tipped, the Mountaineers were creating turnovers on 32.5 percent of their opponents' possessions. Now that number has spiked to 35.0 because, again, Manhattan turned it over 40 times in what ended up being a 108-61 shellacking administered by Bob Huggins' team that's ranked 25th in the AP poll.
Press Virginia, indeed.
"I thought we did a pretty good job," Huggins said.
This is the third straight year that Huggins has used a press designed to produce turnovers in an attempt to create easy buckets. In the first year, West Virginia turned its opponents over on 28.0 percent of their possessions. That ranked first nationally. Last season, West Virginia turned its opponents over on 25.0 percent of their possessions. That ranked second nationally.
So this is hardly surprising.
But Monday's number -- 40 turnovers in 40 minutes -- is still astounding.
It was a school record for West Virginia.
If you want to feel sorry for somebody, Manhattan forward Zane Waterman is your guy. He committed 11 turnovers 19 minutes. Zavier Turner added eight turnovers in 16 minutes. Tyler Wilson and Aaron Walker added four turnovers each.
West Virginia's next game will be Saturday against No. 6 Virginia. For what it's worth, Tony Bennett's Cavaliers only turn the ball over on 14.3 percent of their possessions, which ranks 12th nationally. So it'll be interesting to see whether Virginia can take away West Virginia's strength. Or, of course, if the opposite happens.
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