Of course, Purdue is in a bit of the same predicament. The Boilermakers are 9-3, but eight of those wins have come at home and all but one were over low mid-majors. Purdue hasn't played a true road game this season and is 1-3 on neutral courts. At home, Purdue is shooting 48 percent and scoring over 83 points on average, but on those neutral courts the numbers drop to 40 percent and less than 70 points.
Still, the Boilermakers have a nice history against West Virginia, having won six of the seven meetings. West Virginia's only win came three years ago at the Coliseum, 68-64.
This is a Purdue team without any real stars. Brothers Terone and Ronnie Johnson, both guards, are the top scorers at 13.5 and 10.5 points per game, respectively, but nine players play relatively equal minutes and all are capable of double-figure scoring performances. The Boilermakers are perimeter-oriented in their scoring, but have 7-foot sophomore A.J. Hammons and 6-10 Jay Simpson to clog up the middle.
Purdue has also led in every game it has played this season with the exception of a 97-87 loss to Oklahoma State in Orlando in which the Cowboys led by 24 but saw that cut to six when Marcus Smart went to the bench with four fouls.
If nothing else, perhaps after all the single-digit losses West Virginia has suffered this season, this could be a test to see if the Mountaineers can win another game if it is close at the end. They did that last weekend against Marshall, erasing a game-long deficit in the final four minutes before winning by 10.
"That was a good win for us because we came back and beat a team that was ahead of us and had a lot of good athletes,'' Henderson said. "It showed what we can do in a tough spot. Now we have to keep doing it.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1