As Big 12 announces hoops’ opponents, WVU’s DeVries details less wiggle room in scheduling

MORGANTOWN — It was the part of Darian DeVries’ welcoming gift basket that was tucked down underneath all the good stuff, so to speak.

On top was the fan base, the Power Five Conference, the facilities, the NIL funding and the likes.

Then underneath all of that was an oh-by-the-way that came with WVU’s scheduling.

The Big 12 men’s coaches voted last year to add two more league games to what was already a grind of a league schedule.

And WVU was already committed to playing in the Battle 4 Atlantis (in the Bahamas) during Thanksgiving, which could potentially give the Mountaineers an early look at Big 12 newcomer Arizona, as well as Big 12 defector Oklahoma.

Or maybe there will be a date against a powerhouse name such as Gonzaga or Indiana.

“It was like, welcome to Morgantown, here’s your tournament,” DeVries said.

The Big 12 made part of its hoops schedule official Thursday, naming the home and away opponents for each of the 16 men’s and women’s teams, but the dates of those games have yet to be released.

The WVU men, trying to rebound from a 23-loss season a year ago, will play BYU, Cincinnati, Utah and TCU both at home and on the road.

WVU will see Arizona, Arizona State, UCF, Iowa State and Oklahoma State at home.

The road-only games are against Baylor, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech.

The WVU women’s schedule looks slightly different, as the women’s coaches voted to remain at 18 league games even after conference expansion.

The WVU women will play Cincinnati, Colorado and Oklahoma State at home and on the road.

The home-only games are against BYU, UCF, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Utah.

The road-only games are against Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Houston, TCU and Texas Tech.

As for DeVries’ view on non-conference scheduling, he said much of what will be put in place this season will be a sort of template for moving forward.

“You have to or want to play a certain amount of buy games just to get your home games,” DeVries said. “You want to challenge yourself, whether it be a home, road or neutral game and then find a good (Thanksgiving tournament) to get in.”

In essence, DeVries will likely only have to worry about scheduling six games each season.

Pitt and WVU extended their rivalry series through the 2027-28 season. This is the final season of the Big East-Big 12 Battle — Georgetown travels to WVU on Dec. 6 — but it’s likely that series will be extended, or the league will enter another challenge series against a Power Five league.

Three games will be set aside for a Thanksgiving tournament and 20 for the Big 12 schedule.

Which leaves six games annually remaining, which will likely be “buy” opponents, meaning an opponent who travels to Morgantown for a payday with no return game.

“Now that you have a 20-game league schedule, you don’t have a lot of flexibility to do a lot of creative things,” DeVries said. “I think overall it’s a pretty good schedule. You’ve got a nice balance of home games with a challenging road game with Pitt and a good (Thanksgiving tournament) we’ve been put into.”

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