The Jayhawks have two potential first-team All-Americans in 7-foot senior shot-blocker Jeff Withey and 6-5 freshman shooting guard Ben McLemore, both of whom are on the midseason Wooden Award Top 25. Travis Releford is a 6-6 senior guard who is one of three starters (along with Withey and guard Elijah Johnson) from the team that lost to Kentucky in last year's national championship game.
So, what are the chances West Virginia comes together and develops some sort of chemistry, if not by tonight then at least before the season completely crumbles apart? Well, it might not happen.
"Sometimes you don't,'' Kilicli said. "I've been on teams that the chemistry never got together.
"But at least everybody had one thing they wanted, which was to win. And so the guys with high egos said, 'Alright, man, I'm just going to buy in and do whatever.' And guys with low self-confidence, they stepped their game up and tried to be a team. And that's when you start winning.''
BRIEFLY: The bad part of playing a Big Monday game is the quick turn-around from a Saturday game. The good part is time off. After tonight, the Mountaineers don't play again until Saturday at Texas Tech. Then they do the same thing over again next week with a Big Monday home game against Texas, followed by time off before a Saturday trip to TCU.
The last team ranked No. 2 in the AP poll that played in Morgantown was UCLA, which lost 70-65 here in 2007. The last AP No. 1 team to play at the Coliseum was Connecticut in 2006. The Huskies won that game, 81-75.
In all, five teams ranked No. 1 in the AP poll have played at the Coliseum - UConn in 2006 and 1999, UMass in 1995, Temple in 1988 and UNLV in 1983. West Virginia beat only one of those teams, UNLV.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1.