West Virginia men’s basketball is back on the phones behind the scenes trying to fill another new opening in its schedule after its Dec. 29 clash with Buffalo was canceled.
Josh Eilert, WVU’s director of basketball operations, has been hard at work all season trying to meet their 28-game minimum for the season. He’s manufactured games against North Texas and No. 1 Gonzaga on short notice, and he’s trying to get another one on the schedule after missing out on their matchup with the Bulls.
“Josh has been working like crazy trying to get somebody in here,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins.
Getting games on the slate is tougher at this point in the season than it was in the opening weeks, however. Conference play is already in full swing (another uniquity of this year’s basketball season), and WVU already has two Big 12 games under their belt. Regardless of the team, its league games will take priority on the schedule — and starting in January, WVU will play two each week until the end of the regular season.
Plus, of course, this year is simply more difficult logistically.
“It’s tough because of the testing, everybody is trying to get league games in, they’ve canceled league games in a lot of those leagues, and they’re meeting trying to figure out a way to get their league games in and obviously their league games are a priority,” Huggins added. “You couple that with the testing and with what we require — and should require — it’s tough to get a game in. But we’re trying.”
After the cancellation, WVU has a 10-day break over the holidays before getting back on the court at Oklahoma on Jan. 2.