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Breaking down the Big 12 newcomer: West Virginia basketball

Berry Tramel takes a look at the history of West Virginia basketball, including its greatest player, Laker icon Jerry West.
by Berry Tramel Published: July 13, 2012

Arena: WVU Coliseum (14,000).

Greatest player: Jerry West. Before he was a Laker icon, West was a West Virginia legend. In the 1959 Final Four, West had 66 points and 26 rebounds in two games.

Greatest coach: Fred Schaus, a 1949 West Virginia All-American, was named the Mountaineer coach in 1954. Over the next six seasons, Schaus' teams went 127-26, reached the NCAA Tournament every year and made the 1959 championship game. Schaus then spent 12 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, seven as coach and five as general manager.

Championships: Nine championships and one co-championship in the Southern Conference, from 1952-67. Four Atlantic-10 championships from 1977-89.

Greatest team: 1958-59. The Mountaineers finished 29-5 and reached the NCAA championship game, where they lost to California 71-70. West averaged 33.7 points in four NCAA Tournament games.

Greatest win: In the 2010 East Regional final, West Virginia upset No. 1-seeded Kentucky 73-66. Da'Sean Butler scored 18 points and Bob Huggins coached his alma mater to its first Final Four in 51 years.

NCAA Tournament record: 25-25, two Final Fours.

Last 10 years: 14-15, 17-14, 24-11, 27-9, 22-11, 26-11, 23-12, 31-7, 21-12, 19-14.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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